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Cloudy Eye in Dogs

By: Dr. Noelle McNabb

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It is essential that a specific cause be identified in order to initiate appropriate therapy. In general, opacities of the eye that develop suddenly, reduce vision, and/or cause pain (rubbing eye, squinting) are inherently more serious and necessitate immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis In-depth

The following diagnostic tests are essential in helping to diagnose and treat your pet's ocular disease:

  • Complete medical history and physical examination

  • Complete ophthalmic examination including slit-lamp biomicroscopy (magnified examination of the eyelids, cornea, front chamber of the eye and lens) and indirect ophthalmoscopy (magnified examination of the vitreous body and retina)

  • Schirmer tear test to determine if tear production is normal, elevated or reduced

  • Fluorescein and possible rose bengal staining of the cornea to detect surface defects, ulcers and erosions

  • Tonometry (measurement of the pressure within the eye) to evaluate for the presence of glaucoma

  • Complete blood count (CBC) and serum tests to identify any related medical problems

    Additional diagnostic tests may be recommended based on results of initial tests or due to a lack of response to prior treatments.

    These tests may include:

  • Corneal cytology (complete cell analysis) of cell samples collected from infected or inflamed corneas to determine the presence of infectious organisms and type of inflammatory reaction.

  • Corneal culture of cells collected from corneal ulcers to identify the specific type of bacteria or fungi present and which antibiotics they are most susceptible to.

  • Paracentesis (collection of a fluid sample from the anterior chamber or vitreous body obtained with a small needle) is an alternative for attaining a diagnosis of undefined uveitis (or cancer) utilizing cytology and serology.

  • Serology (testing of antigen-antibody reactions in-vitro) when systemic fungal diseases (cryptococcosis, blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis), toxoplasmosis (a protozoal disease)or tick-borne diseases are suspected.

  • Gonioscopy (magnified examination of the fluid drainage angle within the eye using a specialized lens) to help classify the type of glaucoma present.

  • Electroretinography (evaluates the electrical responses of the retina to light stimulation) to ensure that the retina is functioning normally.

  • Ultrasound examination of the eye (imaging technique in which deep structures of the eye are visualized) when the eye is too opaque for normal examination procedures

    Treatment In-depth

    Therapy is dependent upon the underlying cause.


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