Blepharitis in pets occurs due to allergies, an excessive growth of bacteria on your pet's eyelids or a blockage of the eye's oil glands. It is most often known to cause inflammation of the eyelid and/or connective tissues and muscles of the eye. This pet health problem is typically seen along with the secondary inflammation known as palpebral conjunctiva.
How Blepharitis Affects Your Pet
If your dog or cat develops blepharitis, its eyes will become very itchy and swollen. A thick, scaly crust will form at the base of the eyelashes. If left untreated, these crusts will irritate the eye and can cause the lids to seal shut at times. As the crusty matter breaks off, it further irritates the eye. Animals that scratch at their eyes can cause open lesions, which may encourage infections.
Common Symptoms of Blepharitis
The symptoms that your pet may experience if it develops blepharitis will vary depending on the cause of its condition and how severe it is. However, there are several symptoms you can look out for, and if your dog or cat shows any of them, make sure you see a veterinarian right away. Symptoms: Scaly Crusts on Eyelashes, Flaky Skin on Eyelids, Intense Itching and Scratching of the Eyes, Eye Discharge that Contains Mucous or Pus, Swollen Eyelids, Thick Eyelids, Loss of Hair on Eyelids and Around Eyes, Rashes on Eyelids, Conjunctivitis, Blurred Vision, Varying Degrees of Pain in the Eyes and Sensitivity to Light.
Treatments for Blepharitis
Treatment for this condition varies depending on the severity and cause of your pet's condition. Since many pets with blepharitis tend to paw and scratch at their eyes, your veterinarian may recommend that you have your pet wear a cone until its eyes heal. Additionally, if there are any infections present, antibiotics will be necessary. If your pet's condition is caused by allergies, the allergen will need to be determined and/or allergy medication or a special diet may be prescribed. Other medicine that can help includes steroid eyedrops and/or artificial tears. The eyelids will need to be kept clean using warm water and a soft-textured cloth. The water will help to soften the crusts and remove them.
Blepharitis can occur in most any breed of dog or cat under the right circumstances. However, there are some factors that can place animals more at risk for the condition. These factors include heredity, allergies and various pet health problems. The following breeds and pets that meet the listed conditions have a higher chance of developing blepharitis: Persians, Himalayans, Burmese, Shih-tzus, Pekingese, English Bulldogs, Lhasa Apsos, Pugs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and Poodles.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.