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Cloudy Eye in Dogs

By: Dr. Noelle McNabb

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Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests are essential in determining the precise cause of the cloudy eye. Tests may include:

  • Complete medical history and physical examination

  • Complete ophthalmic examination including fluorescein staining of the cornea, Schirmer tear test, tonometry, slit-lamp biomicroscopy and indirect ophthalmoscopy.

  • Complete blood count (CBC) and serum tests

    Additional diagnostic tests may include:

  • Cytology, or microscopic examination of any inflammatory changes in the cornea

  • Bacterial culture of an infected cornea

  • Aspirate and analysis of any cloudy fluid from within the eye

  • Gonioscopy of the normal eye if glaucoma is suspected

  • Ultrasound examination of the eye if the retina cannot be examined

    Treatment

    Successful treatment depends on obtaining an accurate diagnosis as to what tissue of the eye is cloudy and what is the underlying cause of the problem.

    Home Care

    Optimal treatment for your dog requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up examinations can be critical to your pet's health. Also, do not delay in bringing your dog to the hospital for initial examination as some causes of a cloudy eye may result in a loss of vision within a very short period of time.

    In addition, do the following:

  • Observe the eye at least twice daily. Signs that may indicate a worsening condition include more obvious inflammation (redness), increased or altered discharge from the eye, pain (usually evident as squinting) or loss of vision.

  • If your dog's vision is compromised, minimize stress and risk of injury by confining him/her to a safe area until the cause of the problem is determined.

  • Do not allow your dog to rub or self-traumatize the eyes. To prevent self-inflicted damage you may need to obtain a protective collar (called an Elizabethan collar or E-collar) from your veterinarian.

  • Do not administer human over-the-counter medicines such as Visine or other ophthalmic products designed to "reduce eye redness" or irritation as the underlying cause of the problem must be identified.

  • Administer all medications as prescribed and alert your veterinarian if you have any difficulty treating your dog.

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