You Make The Diagnosis: Name This Eye Condition In Dogs

Pictured below is a dog who presented on emergency for an eye problem. This little guy was trying to steal a toy from another dog. The family heard him yelp and found him looking like this. Examine the image below carefully then answer the following questions: 1) What is this condition called? 2) Can it be reversed? 3) How will it affect the dog’s vision?

Diagnosis: Proptosed globe 

Unfortunately, this little dog proptosed his globe which means he popped his eyeball out of the socket. Brachiocephalic breeds with large eyes are prone to this condition because their sockets are often very shallow. A blow to the top of the head, above the eye, can dislodge it. I have also seen this condition occur when a toy breed is grabbed by the neck and shaken violently. Surgery is required to push the globe (eyeball) back into the socket. After it is replaced, the eyelids are sutured shut for two weeks to keep it in place. If the eye is replaced quickly and the optic nerve was not severed, there is a chance for this eye to see again.  In severe cases, enucleation may be the only treatment to make the dog comfortable.

This dog was one of the lucky ones! His family brought him in immediately and his eye was replaced within twenty minutes of being proptosed. He went on to make a full recovery.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.