Episcleritis (Red Eye) in Dogs


Episcleritis is ocular condition which is described as an inflammation of the episclera (white part or tissue) which surrounds the retina causing redness.

This can arise from known eye diseases, trauma, infections, immune system reactions. It can be limited to a small area or cause redness in the entire eye. It may affect one or both eyes.

It is also known as Episclerokeratitis, Fibrous histiocytoma or Nodular granulomatous episcleritis.

Causes

There are various factors which can cause Episcleritis, such as:
› Bacterial infections
› Fungal infections
› Trauma, wound or injury
› Immune system reaction
› Heat (high temperature)
› Environmental causes such as smoke, water, dirt
› Glaucoma
› Cancer
› Tumors
› Conjunctivitis (Inflammation of the eye)

Clinical Sign & Symptoms

Symptom seen are:
› Redness in the eye
› Blepharospasm (excessive blinking)
› Pain (depends on the underlying cause)
› Conjunctivitis (Inflammation of the eye)
› Irritation in the eye
› Recurrent ocular discharges

Diagnosis

Veterinarians will require a complete history of your dog which includes medical history, vaccination records, existing health concerns, current and previous medications, onset of symptoms, diet and exercise routine and any information which can help in establishing a correct diagnosis. Diagnosis is done with a combination of tests. These include routine lab examinations and special tests will be conducted to known the underlying cause.
› Complete Blood Count (CBC)
› Eye test
› Biochemical profile
› Urinalysis
› Physical examination
› Schirmer Tear Test

Treatment

Treatment again depends on the underlying cause. If there is a presence of foreign body in the eye, this will be carefully removed.
› Anti-inflammatory medications
› Antibacterial medications
› Antibiotic medications
› Topical ointments
› Eye drops

Some veterinarians may suggest use of Elizabethan collar to avoid rubbing and scratching of the eye.

Prevention

Episcleritis is a symptom of an underlying or secondary disease. Treatments of primary causes can reduce this symptom.

Home Care

Treatments can range from a few days to weeks. You have to administer and monitor all prescribed medicines as directed by your veterinarian. If you observe any behavioral changes or if the condition does not improve, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

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