What Is Blepharitis In Dogs?
Blepharitis in dogs means inflammation of the eyelid and in some cases, connective tissues in and around the eye, including the glands (Meibomian, Zeis, and Moll). Typically, the inner membrane lining the posterior eyelids (palpebral conjunctiva) will also become inflamed.
Commonly with blepharitis, a dog will rub or scratch at its face or eyelids due to irritation. This can lead to secondary inflammation of the inner surface of the eyelid called palpebral conjunctiva.
There are several factors for the eye irritation that can lead to blepharitis. Dogs are more affected by this eye problem than cats and this is usually bilateral (affects both eyelids).
This can be agonizing and may be severe enough that, if not left untreated, it could be an impediment to your dog's vision.
What Are The Signs Of Blepharitis In Dogs?
- Intense scratching and/or Pruritus of the eye
- Lagophthalmos (unable to close eyes completely)
- Tearing or wearing or Abrasions of skin (excoriation)
- Blepharospasms (Uncontrolled blinking or squinting)
- Redness of the eyelid (hyperemia) and/or sclera (the white part of the eye)
- Concurrent conjunctivitis (conjunctiva of the eye is inflamed)
- Inflamed cornea (keratitis)
- Scaly or Flaky skin surrounding the eye
- Ectopic cilia
- Elevated, pinpoint openings of the meibomian glands
- Discharge from the eye (containing mucus, water, or pus)
- Formation of papule – inflamed bumps in the skin, without pus
- Formation of pustule - inflamed blisters or bulges in the skin, with pus
- Loss of skin pigmentation surrounding the affected area
What Are The Treatment Options For Blepharitis In Dogs?
The course of treatment will depend on the type of blepharitis. They can be:
- Bacterial blepharitis: an antibiogram should be performed to apply the appropriate antibiotic treatment (gentamicin, neomycin, Terramycin)
- Parasitic or fungal Blepharitis: the suitable antiparasitic or antifungal treatments should be used depending on the cause. It will also be important to clean any rugs, carpets, etc. at home in order to prevent your dog from getting infected again.
- Immune-mediated blepharitis: immunosuppressive therapy(medications that suppress the immune system.) with corticosteroids is necessary.
- Food hypersensitivity: it is necessary to detect the food allergen, that is, the protein that is causing the adverse reaction, and eliminate it from the diet.
- If blepharitis is caused by a tumor or a congenital disease: surgery will be necessary.
Home Remedies For Blepharitis In Dogs
- Keep your dog is active: Keep your dog busy with some creative, fun ways
- increase immunity- Feed Your Dog the Right Foods as The gut contains about 70 percent of a dog’s immune system
- Weight management - For your dog is important.
- Supplementing for healthy eyes -Help your dog have healthy ocular hygiene with supplements
- Make your dog more comfortable: Cleanse eyelids—to remove crusts (dried discharge) with lukewarm water with a half-teaspoon of salt.
You can use physiological saline or a commercial eye cleansing agent (such as Eye Scrub) or lactated Ringer’s solution
Apply warm compresses for 5 to 15 minutes, 3 to 4 times daily, avoiding surfaces of the eyes
Apply cooled chamomile tea to a cotton ball and clean the affected eye.
How To Prevent Blepharitis In Dogs?
Blepharitis due to the hereditary abnormality can be prevented by stopping the breeding of affected dogs so that the risk of passing the condition on to the next generation is averted.
Allergy-related: try to remove or avoid the allergens to prevent future outbreaks.
Food-related allergies: consult with the vet for any specialized hypoallergenic diets
What Dog Breeds Are Prone To Get Blepharitis?
What Causes Blepharitis In Dogs?
There are several possible causes of Blepharitis viz.: congenital, Parasitic, bacterial, viral, allergic, etc
- Eyelid abnormalities
- Prominent nasal folds
- Lagophthalmos (inability to close eyes completely)
- Mast cell tumors
- Ectopic cilia
- Staphylococcus, Streptococcus infection
- Viral infections
- Parasitic infections
- Traumatic injuries to the eye
- Adenocarcinomas and Sebaceous adenomas
- Eye diseases (dry eye syndrome, keratitis, conjunctivitis, etc.)
Types of Infectious blepharitis in dogs
- Bacterial blepharitis: caused by Staphylococcus Streptococcus Species
- Parasitic Blepharitis: caused by infestation with Demodex, Sarcoptes, Cuterebra Species)
- Fungal Blepharitis: Ringworm dermatophyte fungi(Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum gypseum, or Microsporum canis ) or the yeasts of the genus Malassezia.
- Viral infections: (FHV-1)
When Should You See The Vet For Blepharitis In Dogs?
The cause of blepharitis determines the prognosis
Proper treatment of Infectious causes of blepharitis do extremely well and are not at risk of developing problems in the future.
Congenital abnormality caused by blepharitis can be surgically corrected, and the prognosis is excellent.
Benign eyelid tumors in dogs can be removed surgically with a good prognosis.
In autoimmune disease or allergic blepharitis, dogs should continue some sort of medical treatment for the long term to control symptoms.
Diet And Food Suggestions For Blepharitis In Dogs
‘Diagnostic allergy testing’ is the quickest and best way to determine which foods your dog may or may not be allergic.
Unique protein sources are used that aren’t recognized as antigens by your dog’s antibodies. Novel protein sources used in this diet include venison, rabbit, lamb, duck, etc are not usually found in pet food.
Carbohydrate sources include sweet potatoes, potatoes, canned pumpkin, peas, yams, etc
Hydrolyzed protein diets- protein source has been chemically reduced to small fragments.
Sample rice and chicken bland dog food
- 2 cup white rice
- 2 cup skinless, boneless cubed chicken
- 3 tbsp canned pumpkin
Boil the chicken pieces in a pot with water. Add rice to the water after some time. When this is fully cooked, simmer the ingredients. Add the pumpkin after the ingredients in the pot is completely cooled.
Store it up to 5 days in a fridge and feed your pet as needed.
Within a few days of starting the proper treatment, most of the Blepharitis symptoms will be relieved. All the clinical signs can be controlled completely within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment.
However, autoimmune and allergy-related Blepharitis can be controlled but often not "cured."