Any dog eye problems your Schnauzer may be experiencing, should be evaluated by your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Those beautiful dark oval Miniature Schnauzer eyes that look deep into your soul should never be afflicted with any type of injury, disease, or eye infection, but unfortunately that isn't always so.
Your Miniature Schnauzer's eyes can become injured for many different reasons. Whether from an accidental injury or due to a symptom of another disease (see diabetes and cataracts) it's important to recognize the signs of a dog eye problem, as early detection and treatment could save your Schnauzer's vision.
Prevention is always the best medicine. So make a habit of examining your Miniature Schnauzer's eyes on a regular basis and notify your Veterinarian upon noticing any changes.
Dog Eye Problems Explained & Treatment Available
Cataracts: Cataracts appear as white opacities or cloudiness of the lens. Although more common in older dogs; cataracts can be caused by diabetes, an infection, inadequate nutrition, from an injury, or some other trauma. Cataracts impair vision and can eventually lead to blindness so they need to be surgically removed. The good news is early detection and treatment can have your Schnauzer’s vision successfully restored.
Cherry Eye (nictitans gland prolapse): Cherry eye is a condition in which the third eyelid containing the tear gland has prolapsed causing a red bulge in the corner or the eye. It may be unsightly but it is not painful or life threatening to your Schnauzer. Veterinarians aren’t sure what causes cherry eye but believe it to be the weakening of the tissues that connect the third eyelid to the rest of the eye. Surgery is required to have the tear gland repositioned.
Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye: Conjunctivitis is a bacterial or viral infection. It is painful and irritating to an affected dog. Symptoms of pink eye include swollen eyelids, pronounced redness and inflammation, excessive tearing or squinting thick discharge. It left untreated it could permanently damage the cornea so get your Schnauzer to the vet. Upon proper diagnosis, antibiotics can be administered to clear up the conjunctivitis.
Eye Ulcers or Corneal Ulceration: Eye ulcers are defects or lesions in the outermost cells of the cornea and are very painful for a dog. A corneal ulceration can be caused by a number of things from something as innocent as an ingrown eyelash to something more traumatic like an accident or injury. Eye ulcers cause the eyes to become red and swollen and immediate medical attention is needed to prevent vision loss. Treatment depends on the severity of the ulceration and will probably include a combination of eye ointments and eye drops along with antibiotics.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a serious condition that if not treated immediately can lead to blindness. Glaucoma is a fluid build up within the eye that causes extreme pressure inside the eye which can permanently damage the retina and optic nerve. Signs to look for dilated pupil, excessive blood vessels appearing on the white of the eyes (bloodshot eyes), cloudiness of cornea, or your dog showing signs pain or behavioral changes. Treatment usually involves medications to relieve the pressure and pain. Surgery is usually required to manage glaucoma.
Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca ~KCS): Dry eye is the result of inadequate tear production. Tear production is important to keep the eyes lubricated and without it, besides being very painful, it is a contributing factor to eye infections, ulcerations, and vision loss. Treatment involves keeping the eyes lubricated by using prescription medications to stimulate tear production.
Entropion: Entropion is a physical condition in which the eyelid rolls inward. It can occur to either upper or lower eyelids. This causes the hair in the lids to come into contact with the cornea causing irritation and spasms. Entropion is extremely painful and usually requires surgical treatment to improve.
Ectropion: Ectropion is a physical condition in which the eyelid rolls outward exposing the sensitive inner eyelid to the elements. Usually breeds with drooping loose lower lids suffer this condition (like Saint Bernards). Usually treatment involves drops or ointments to help with any infections that occur.
Red Eye: Red eyes in dogs occur for all kinds of reason. All of the above conditions cause red eyes as well as a number of other dog eye problems. Any foreign object that enters the eye can cause reddening to an infection of some sort. Your Schnauzer's eyes are very delicate and any problem mild or severe should be addressed with your veterinarian as soon as possible, so treatment may begin.
Aging Eyes: As your Schnauzer ages, so do his eyes. Even if your Schnauzer never had any dog eye problems before, as a senior dog his vision may be limited. One age-related change that some dogs develop is nuclear sclerosis. It is often mistaken as a cataract because the lens appears cloudy. Nuclear sclerosis causes a bluish gray haziness at the center of the lens but it has no severe affect on your Schnauzer's vision.
Dog Eye Problems can lead to permanent limited vision or blindness. If your Mini Schnauzer is vision impaired check out: Helping Blind Dogs Cope
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note: In the event of a medical emergency – contact your veterinarian or emergency pet hospital immediately.