Common ocular conditions of Bulldog and other brachycephalic breeds include:
Due to their large, prominent eyes, brachycephalic breeds often
develop corneal ulcers. These may be the result of abnormal eyelid conformation, lashes/periocular hairs rubbing against the eye or low tear production. Ulcers can also result from self-induced trauma, such as rubbing the eye. If left untreated, ulcerations can progress to deep ulcers or corneal perforation, which require emergency surgical intervention. Treatment options for corneal ulcers vary depending on the type and depth of the ulcer. This may include topical medical therapy, debridement and/or corneal surgery.
Also known as “dry eye,” this condition results from low tear production or tear quality. When the surface of the eye is dry, it results in discomfort, inflammation and irritation of the cornea and conjunctiva. Common signs include redness, squinting and excessive, thick, “ropey” or green discharge. Over time chronic changes can lead to ulceration, corneal scarring and vision loss. Treatments are directed at lubricating the ocular surface and stimulating tear production. ..
Any type of ulcer can become infected with bacteria. Specialized tests will help to determine the type of infection present. An infected ulcer requires the use of targeted, aggressive antibiotic therapy, or in some cases, surgery to stabilize the corneal surface. Infected ulcers can progress through the cornea rapidly. When the ulcer reaches 50% depth in the cornea, surgical stabilization with a corneal or conjunctival graft is generally recommended. Your family veterinarian or a veterinary ophthalmologist will make this assessment to help prevent rupture and potential loss of your pet’s eye.
Entropion is an abnormality of the eyelids in which the eyelid rolls inward. Rather than the normal, smooth eyelid margin contacting the surface of the eye, the hairs of the eyelid roll inward and rub on the surface of the eye. Symptoms of entropion include excessive tearing and wetness of the eyelid, squinting and corneal ulceration/scarring. Treatment options depend on the age and severity of the entropion. Options include surgical correction, temporary eyelid filler or temporary eyelid tacking. Medical therapy can be used in mild cases to minimize the effects of the entropion with ocular lubricants and anti-inflammatories, but does not address the underlying cause, and will be required lifelong.
Also known as “Cherry Eye,” this condition is a protrusion of the tear-producing gland that lies at the base of the third eyelid. Though occasionally this gland can regress, more often it requires surgical intervention to replace it. Mismanagement or removal of this gland can result in Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), also known as dry eye.
This issue can be a consequence of any of the above conditions. It is seen as pigment in the clear outer layer of the eye (cornea). This can be very subtle, or it can encompass the entire cornea, resulting in vision loss. Pigmentary keratitis is often treated medically, but it is also important to treat the underlying cause, including the conditions noted above.
We treat all these conditions medically at our practice, in addition to offering surgical solutions when medical therapy is incomplete.