Definition of Corneal Ulcers
Corneal ulcers are deep abrasions of the clear protective outer portion of the eyeball, called the cornea, and are one of the most painful eye disorders in dogs. Corneal ulcers have many causes, the most common of which is trauma to the eye surface, such as by a cat scratch or injury from a foreign object (stone, stick, etc). Affected dogs often squint, have swollen, cloudy or watery eyes, rub at their faces and avoid bright light. They may become depressed, lethargic, lose their appetites and just not act normal. In serious cases, the cornea can rupture, leaking pus and blood from the eyeball. One of the biggest complications is the increased risk of bacterial eye infections, which can cause permanent scarring and sometimes blindness. Owners who notice these signs should make a prompt visit to the veterinarian, who may refer the dog to an eye specialist.