How to Clean and Care for Your Pet’s Eyes at Home
Caring for a pet is a huge responsibility and includes making sure that they are free from harm and diseases. This includes providing the necessary preventive care. Dogs and cats require regular grooming, and this includes keeping their hair properly trimmed and cleaned to avoid any infections and health problems. Along with the skin, parts of the body like their ears and eyes needs to be taken care of as well to promote optimal health. In this article, we’ll focus on caring for your pet’s eyes and recognizing signs of disease. Keep reading to learn more.
How to Safely Clean Your Pet’s Eyes
The first step in making sure your pet’s eyes are healthy and comfortable is to ensure they are clean and free from irritants, contaminants, and materials that can cause injury or damage to the eye.
There are certain breeds of dogs and cats that are susceptible to developing eye problems due to specific anatomical features. Small brachycephalic breeds like Shih Tzus, Pugs, and French Bulldogs, and Persian cats have eyes that are relatively bulging compared to other breeds, and as such are more prone to irritation and damage from external hazards.
One effective way to keep the eyes free from irritants, especially in the breeds mentioned above, is to clean them regularly to avoid the build-up of gunk, dirt, and dust on the surface of the pet’s eye and surrounding hair. However, eye cleaning in dogs and cats is not that straightforward and must be done with utmost care. The eyes of dogs and cats are very sensitive and eye cleaning, if done improperly, can cause more harm than good. Pet owners must know the basic steps of cleaning their canine or feline buddy’s eyes to avoid any injuries.
The solution to use for your pet’s eye cleaning is important. It has to be non-irritant and safe in order to avoid damaging the surface of the eye. For the most part, warm, sterile water is enough to clean the surface of the eye and remove any debris that may have built up around it. There are commercially available eye cleaning solutions, but make sure to check with your vet first to determine it’s safe to use for your pet.
Cleaning the eyes once a week should be enough to keep them healthy and clean. For certain breeds, like the ones mentioned above, eye cleaning more than once a week may be necessary. These breeds tend to produce eye discharge and gunk at a faster rate compared to other breeds, and if not removed immediately, this debris can dry up and cause inflammation, abrasion, or ulceration on the surface of the eyes.
Make sure to only use a soft cloth to wipe away eye discharge and gunk and avoid touching the surface of the eye to minimize the risk of corneal abrasion and irritation. When using sterile water or eye cleaners, use controlled amounts of the solution and gently drop on the surface of the. Excessive pressure from the forceful application of eye cleaners can also lead to eye problems.
Unfortunately, even with proper care, untoward accidents can happen that can result in eye problems in both dogs and cats. While most cases of eye problems are mild, if not detected and treated early, these can progress and may cause permanent damage to the pet’s eyes. All pet owners should know what the common signs of eye problems are in dogs and cats.
Signs Your Pet May Have an Eye Problem
Eye problems in pets can have a wide range of symptoms depending on the specific cause, problem, and severity. But regardless of the cause, most eye problems will show similar signs in the early stages of the problem. Owners need to be aware of what symptoms to look out for in cases of eye problems in dogs and cats.
Commonly seen symptoms in cases of early or mild eye problems can include excessive eye discharge, redness of the white portion of the eye (called sclera), and profuse build-up of eye gunk. They may also exhibit signs of irritation like squinting and keeping the affected eye shut and might show signs of pain and discomfort such as pawing and rubbing at the eyes.
Another sign that can indicate possible eye problems in pets is apparent vision issues. You may start to notice your pet running into objects or walls especially in dark environments. This can be a sign of vision loss which often results from chronic eye problems.
Identifying these early signs is important in the timely diagnosis and treatment of different eye problems and can be the deciding factor in preventing permanent damage to your pet’s eyes.
If you start to see the signs mentioned above in any of your pets, bring them to your vet immediately for proper assessment and appropriate treatment or management.
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