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Labrador Retrievers: Healthy Eyes

labrador health, labradors and health, training labradorsIt’s a funny thing, but sometimes just looking into your Labrador’s eyes can tell you just how they are feeling.  Many lab owners believe they can see right into their pups soul, but not many realize that carefully checking their dogs eyes on a regular basis can help them ferret out several potentially dangerous problems.  Taking some time to understand not just how the eye works in canines as well as several common problems can help every owner keep Rufus as healthy as possible.

Unlike humans, Labrador’s, like all canines, have a third eyelid.  This ultra thin membrane helps to keep the eye healthy and lubricated and it’s an important part of ocular health in all dogs.  It can also, on occasion, cause what vet’s often call “Cherry Eye.”  This condition is really nothing more than a mild irritation, which cause a red inflamed area.  This condition isn’t very serious, is more common in puppies and causes heavy tearing.  Your vet should always examine any suspected case of Cherry Eye to rule out more serious conditions. The treatment is ‘popping’ the inflamed area back into the eye – scary and often best left to a professional.

In some cases the “spine’ of the eye is malformed.  This can cause a ridge to extrude into the eye space. This condition, called Eversion, causes symptoms similar to Cherry Eye, but can be more irritating to the dog.

There are more serious conditions.  Labrador’s are prone to several different diseases of the eye and in older dogs, cancer may develop.  Remember that any inflammation, heavy tearing or discoloration should be examined by a veterinarian.  Your pooch can’t tell you what is wrong, but sometimes you can get a pretty good idea just by looking in their big, beautiful eyes.

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