Horner’s syndrome is a disorder that affects the nervous system and eyes, resulting in small pupils along with an elevated third eyelid. This syndrome can be a sign that there is something wrong with the nervous system.
The condition of “Droopy eye” in dogs is caused by inflammation or damage to the nerves that control their eyes. The first sign is, the dog’s eyelid will appear to droop or not fully open. The pupil in response lowered lighting, making it hard for them to see properly. The nictitating membrane, also known as the third eyelid and located inside of the lower eyelids may be inflamed. This can cause an area to become redder than usual above it. If you notice your dog has trouble walking or swallowing, it could be that they’re suffering from Horner’s syndrome. This condition is thought to cause a lack of nervous system communication and may reflect deeper problems. When you notice that your pet has Horner’s Syndrome, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are in danger.
•Top eyelid cannot fully open
•Small, a constricted pupil in one or both eyes
•General redness and inflammation
•Patch of reddened tissue above lower eyelid
•Trauma to the brain, neck, or chest
•Brain or spinal tumor
•Idiopathic (no identifiable cause)
•Infection of the spinal cord or brain
•Infection compromising nervous tissue
Diagnosis of Droopy Eye in Dogs
For all of those who love their pets, it’s important to be aware that if you notice any symptoms in your animal’s eyes, you should immediately seek veterinary care. This can indicate Horner syndrome and needs treatment right away. The veterinarian will want to know about any activities your dog has been engaged in that might result in injury, and if you notice anything abnormal with his behavior. Inform the doctor when he visits so they can take care of him right away.
The veterinarian will carefully analyze a urine sample, conduct blood tests and physical exams on your pup to determine what is causing them pain.
A veterinary examination can help identify the cause of droopy eye in dogs. X-rays and ultrasounds are useful for showing some types of injuries, but if the vet suspects a tumor or broken bone they’ll need to do medical imaging. MRI requires a larger machine so it may be done at an animal hospital.
The doctor may conduct a spinal tap if your dog has presented with fever and abnormal behavior. Spinal fluid is being collected from your dog’s back to aid in determining if they have an infection of the nervous system like meningitis.
Droopy Eye Treatment
Although droopy eye can be treated with eye drops containing Phenylephrine, if your dog has an underlying cause for the problem this will need to be treated as well according to the type of illness. In the event of a spinal infection, you will need to administer lifesaving antibiotics as soon as possible. While tumors need to either undergo surgical removal or radiation treatment. After an accident or other traumatic event, surgery may be needed to reduce scar tissue and free nerves that are trapped in the body.
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