Eye issue could be more than just allergies

Pete Keesling

Q: Our beagle Wilson’s eyes are red and foggy, and he’s squinting. He’s also rubbing his face on the carpet a lot. Does he have allergies? Can a dog become allergic at the age of 6?

A:

The answer to your question is yes, dogs can develop allergies anytime. But I’m not sure that allergies are Wilson’s problem. Red eyes can be a symptom of lots of different maladies. But that foggy appearance to his eyes and that squinting you describe might be an indication of glaucoma, and this is a very serious problem that needs quick, aggressive treatment. His veterinarian can examine his eyes and check the pressure within the eyes. If it is elevated, as is the case with glaucoma, he’ll need medications to relieve the pressure before it can do permanent damage. Get Wilson to the vet right away.

Q:

We live in San Martin and own a small dog. Every afternoon I take him for a walk down our street, but some other dogs are allowed to roam free. These dogs dart from their yards, creating confusion and scaring us. Do leash laws apply in the county? If so, who do I call?      

A:

Free-roaming dogs are a problem in a lot of communities, but I think the situation is worse in rural areas. San Martin and all other unincorporated areas fall under the jurisdiction of Santa Clara County Animal Control. They’ll tell you it’s illegal to allow a dog to run loose in any public area. People who let their dogs roam freely are in violation of the law. Unrestrained dogs should be reported to proper authorities because they could potentially cause someone harm or do damage. Too many people think that rules in the “country” are more relaxed. But unrestrained, wandering dogs are a hazard and a threat to people and other animals.

If you are confronted by a loose dog, and you can’t (or don’t wish to) talk to the owner, call County Animal Control at (408) 465-2920. And if you feel immediately threatened by someone’s dog, call 911 immediately.

Q:

Our cat, Mouse, came home with a bloody eye. There is actually blood inside the eye, not on the outside. What could cause this?

A:

Blood in the eye (called hyphema) can be a symptom of many different conditions. Mouse’s bloody eye could be the result of a fight wound, a bump or blow to the head. And if that’s the case, his eye could look better in just a few days. But even if this bloody eye is a result of trauma, there’s a chance that secondary glaucoma could develop. Glaucoma is painful and causes blindness. It’s treatable but early diagnosis and treatment is very important. And here’s the tricky part; glaucoma can develop even if his eye looks as though it’s healing.

This is just one reason that he should see a veterinarian right away. Here are a few more.

A ruptured blood vessel in the eye can also be a symptom of hypertension. That’s right. Some older kitties can have high blood pressure the same as humans. And one of the symptoms can be a rupture of a small blood vessel in the eye.

There’s yet one other cause for a bloody eye that relates to the thyroid glands. Hyperthyroid disease is a condition where a small benign tumor on one of the thyroid glands secretes excessive thyroid hormone. It leads to hypertension and many other conditions. Mouse’s condition could be a wake-up call that he needs medical attention and treatment.

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