Brown Pigment In White of Dog’s Eye – Can Pigmentary Keratitis Cause Blindness?
With all the care and facilities we arrange for our dogs, it may seem that we are going overboard in pampering them. However, they are our family members and their health should be a top priority. As your canine friend cannot speak out to you, it is important that you keep a watch on the signs and symptoms of any health problem. This is true for their eyes as well.
Much like human beings, dogs can suffer from a variety of eye problems. In this post, let us discuss one of the most commonly reported issues among dog owners. We talk about Pigmentary Keratitis and its implications to help you take better care of your pet by addressing it on time.
Brown Pigment In White of Dog’s Eye
Dog owners often keep a regular check on the appearance and behavioral changes of their four-legged friends to detect early signs of an underlying issue. As you see your dog every day, you are likely to notice any abnormality in any body part before anybody else. A regular examination can help you check his vision and find out any signs of diseases or infection.
Sometimes, you may see a brown pigment or spot in the white part of your dog’s eye upon close examination. While it may seem to be normal, it can sometimes indicate a more serious problem. One of the more common eye diseases in dogs is dry eyes caused by a breakdown in the tear film protecting the cornea. The dog’s eye suffers from a lack of tears and nutrients, resulting in destructive changes including brown pigment.
Dry eyes can be treated with eye drops and other medications and should be reported to a veterinarian at the earliest. Failure to address the problem on time can result in more serious symptoms and vision impairment in the dog.
White Part of Eye Turning Brown
If the dog’s white part of the eye starts turning brown, it can indicate underlying eye disease. Apart from dry eyes, pigmentary keratitis is a common condition seen in dogs of all ages. This problem resembles mud on the car’s windshield. When it is in small quantity, you can see through it but as the windshield gets covered with mud, you cannot see.
The cornea is a transparent structure that looks clear when healthy. When the dog is affected by a problem such as pigmentary keratitis, you see a grey to brown discoloration that starts at the inner cornea and gradually progresses towards the center. While the cause of this condition is not yet known, it is often associated with environmental irritants and dry eyes.
The appearance of such pigmentation can vary largely from a brown spot to black patches that impact vision. Pigmentary keratitis can be observed by dog owners under light but sometimes need careful examination by the veterinarian. The vet also looks for the underlying causes through close examination of the eyes, eyelids and reflexes for abnormalities.
Brown Spot On Dog’s Sclera
The sclera of a dog is normally white in color but melanin deposits can lead to spots or discoloration. Several eye diseases are responsible for pathological changes to the sclera, resulting in abnormal pigmentation. One of the most common problems associated with brown pigmentation is the pigmentary keratitis seen in various breeds of dogs. It is a brownish-black discoloration of the dog’s eye surface resulting from pigmented melanin deposits. If you see any brown spot on the sclera of your dog’s eyes, you should consult a veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist for diagnosis. If not addressed in its early stages, this disease can cause vision loss and other eye problems in the dog.
If the underlying problem is diagnosed, it is possible to correct the cause and prevent further deposition of pigments. If eyelid abnormality is detected, your dog may have to undergo surgery to correct it. In case of dry eyes and other problems, eye drops that encourage tear production are prescribed.
In most cases, pigmentary keratitis is not completely reversed. Your vet may prescribe eye drops that help reduce the pigmentation and avoid spreading to other parts. These medications work by influencing the way the immune system works on the affected area. The key is to notice and address the problem in its early stages.
Does Pigmentary Keratitis Cause Blindness?
Pigmentary Keratitis is a serious eye condition in dogs and should be addressed on time to minimize the effects and save the dog from serious implications. The pigmentation often progresses to the pupil and central cornea and interfere with the light entering into the eye. This means this condition can gradually result in partial or complete blindness if left unattended.
An annual examination by a veterinary ophthalmologist or veterinarian can help detect Pigmentary Keratitis in its initial stages. If diagnosed early, it is possible to reduce the progression with the use of medications that suppress eye pigmentation. However, most dog owners are not aware of the problem until it has progressed and the animal has become visually impaired.
Pigmentary Keratitis Surgery Cost
Pigmentary Keratitis is a highly prevalent condition among dogs and a common cause of blindness. However, if diagnosed and addressed in the early stages, it is possible to save the animal from losing vision. Treatment of this eye condition involves stopping the pigmentation progression and addressing the underlying cause.
A surgery called medical pocket flap canthoplasty is often used for young dogs with a severe condition. This surgery slows down the pigment and doesn’t reverse it. The treatment is considered for dogs who are at risk of developing blindness in their life. It also involves correcting dry eye, distichiae, nasal folds and other conditions. Removing the pigment through laser, keratectomy or other treatments is not so effective and can even worsen the condition.
The cost of pigmentary keratitis surgery can vary depending on the severity of the condition, age of the dog and location. It can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to up to thousands based on the cause of the disease.