Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Healthy Dogs

Font Size

Keratitis (Cloudy Eye) in Dogs

Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea in which the cornea becomes cloudy, resulting in loss of transparency. The signs are excessive tearing, squinting, pawing at the eye, avoiding light, and protrusion of the third eyelid. There are different types of keratitis; all are serious diseases and can lead to partial or complete blindness. All types of keratitis must be treated by a veterinarian.

Ulcerative keratitis is a painful corneal inflammation that occurs as a complication of keratoconjunctivitis sicca or corneal ulcer. The cornea appears dull and hazy, then cloudy, and finally milky white and relatively opaque. Treatment is similar to that described for Corneal Ulcer.

Recommended Related to Dogs

Medical Causes of House Soiling in Dogs

House soiling, or inappropriate urination or defecation, is a common problem in dogs. While in many cases house soiling is due to a behavioral problem, sometimes medical issues are to blame. It may be difficult or even impossible for a pet parent to distinguish between behaviorally caused house soiling and medically caused house soiling. For this reason, the first step in solving a house-soiling problem is to take your dog to a veterinarian for a thorough check-up and urinalysis.

Read the Medical Causes of House Soiling in Dogs article > >

Infectious keratitis occurs when a bacterial infection complicates ulcerative keratitis, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or corneal ulcer. The most common invading bacteria are Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Pseudomonas. In addition to eye pain, infectious keratitis is characterized by a purulent discharge from the eye. The eyelids are swollen and matted. This might, at first, suggest conjunctivitis (which could seriously delay diagnosis and treatment), but recall that conjunctivitis is not usually accompanied by signs of a painful eye.

Treatment is similar to that described for Corneal Ulcer. It is important to use topical antibiotics selected following culture and sensitivity tests.

Fungal keratitis is uncommon in dogs, but may occur with the prolonged use of topical antibiotics. The diagnosis is made by fungal culture. It is treated with antifungal drugs.

Interstitial keratitis (blue eye) is a corneal inflammation in which a bluish-white film appears over the clear window of the eye. It is caused by the same virus that causes infectious hepatitis, and at one time it occurred after vaccination with CAV-1 (vaccines with this version of the hepatitis virus are no longer used). Signs appear 10 days after exposure. The eyes begin to water and the dog squints and avoids light. Most dogs recover completely within a few weeks. In some cases the eye remains permanently clouded.

Vascular keratitis is caused by neovascularization-the process by which the transparency of the cornea is lost due to an ingrowth of blood vessels and connective tissue. You can see blood vessels growing onto the cornea with your naked eye.

Pigmentary keratitis results when melanin pigment is deposited in the cornea. This is a separate process, but is often associated with vascular keratitis. Both conditions interfere with vision and may progress to blindness.

Vascular and pigmentary keratitis may, in some cases, be the result of a chronic corneal irritation such as that caused by entropion or lagophthalmos(inability to completely close the eyes). Removing the initiating process may reverse the keratitis.

Pannusis a specific type of nonpainful pigmentary keratitis found in German Shepherd Dogs and their crosses, and also in Belgian Tervurens, Border Collies, Greyhounds, Siberian Huskies, Australian Shepherds, and other breeds. It occurs in dogs over 2 years old. An immune-mediated disease is suspected to be the cause. Pannus may be associated with dogs who live at high altitudes, due to the decreased ozone layer. A distinguishing feature of pannus is redness and thickening of the third eyelid, but this may not always be present.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

Today on WebMD

boxer dog
Slideshow
dog on couch
Evaluator
 
bad dog
Slideshow
Sad dog and guacamole
Slideshow
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 
Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
puppy eating
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
ashamed yorkshire terrier
Slideshow