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Animal Update: Dealing With Pets’ Eye Problems

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(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MelissaCulross_180 Melissa Culross
Melissa Culross had intended to become a novelist but was side-lined...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Pets’ eye health care ranges from superficial wounds that are common in young animals, to more severe problems seen in elderly pets, like glaucoma or cataracts, which can lead to your pet going blind.

For young animals, eye problems are usually a result of corneal abrasions or scratches— often times due to trauma. Depending on their severity (superficial or deep), these injuries heal within days or weeks.

However, as animals age, it is more common to see cataracts or glaucoma in your pets. Dr. Jennifer Scarlett with the SF SPCA said glaucoma is the buildup of fluid. Eyes normally will naturally drain the fluid, but sometimes due to congenital defects or trauma, it sometimes builds up, causing the eye to swell and becomes very painful.

This is an emergency treatment that animals have to see their veterinarian for. Cataracts are generally a hardening of the lens, again it can be congenital or age related. This can be a natural progression. Oftentimes, as dogs age, you can see a blue haze in their eyes. Even though they’re experiencing hardening of the lens, they can still see.

As that continues, the lens can become completely opaque and they will become blind. While there are surgical treatments to treat cataracts and glaucoma in your pets, in the case of blindness, they can learn their surroundings in their home, but you’ll want to make sure that you cut them off from barriers and patios. Of course they respond well to voices and hearing. Remember that they know about 200 to 300 words a lot of talking can help.

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