Iris Prolapse in Dogs

Canine Iris Prolapse

Iris prolapse is the protrusion or forward movement of the iris, the tissue that makes up the pupil, through a traumatized or perforated cornea. It is a common sequel to penetrating corneal wounds and/or ruptured corneal ulcers in dogs.

Iris prolapse usually has an acute onset. The protruding iris is often covered with a blob of mucus that appears yellow or white. The underlying iris itself is usually brown-black in color.

Causes of Iris Prolapse in Dogs

In dogs, there are several common causes of iris prolapse:

What to Watch For

Diagnosis of Iris Prolapse in Dogs

Treatment of Iris Prolapse in Dogs

Iris prolapse is an ocular emergency and requires immediate medical and surgical therapy. Medical treatment includes the following:

The type of surgery recommended depends on the viability of the eye:

Home Care and Prevention for Iris Prolapse in Dogs

If the cornea is surgically repaired, then it is very important to administer all medications precisely as directed by your veterinarian. The treatments following this type of surgery are labor-intensive, and must be done on a consistent schedule. Numerous rechecks are also required to ensure that the eye is healing well and that no complications are developing.

The postoperative care following an enucleation is simpler and may involve giving oral antibiotics and returning for a suture removal in 10 to 12 days. The dog may be required to wear an Elizabethan collar after both surgeries.

Take care when introducing new dogs to households with cats, especially if those cats have front claws. Prior to introduction of the new puppy, clip the nails of the cat short or apply Soft Paws. Keep the puppy restrained (on a leash or harness) and allow the two animals to move closer to each other gradually. Do not allow the animals to be together in an unsupervised setting. Always provide a mechanism for the cat to escape from the dog, by allowing the cat access to a place inaccessible to the dog. Keep the dog away from the cat’s food and litter pan. It may take several days to a few weeks before the household cat is comfortable with the new dog and the puppy learns to respect the cat.

If your brachycephalic dog develops a corneal ulcer, see your veterinarian frequently during the healing period, so that any deterioration of the ulcer can be discovered before the cornea perforates. Examine the eyes of hunting and field dogs closely at the end of each session of out door activity.