Chihuahuas are adorable dogs with bright, expressive eyes. However, because their eyes tend to bulge out a bit, they are prone to getting infected. While chihuahuas are susceptible to many different eye infections, there are a few that are the most common. With a quick visit to the vet, your chihuahua's eyes should get back to their beautiful states with the help of medication.
There are many different infections that can affect the eye, with the most common being conjunctivitis, or pink eye. Signs of this infection include a red and inflamed conjunctiva and the whites of the eyes red as well. The eye can also have thick yellow or green discharge. The infection can be caused by bacteria or a basic irritant, such as pollen, entering the eye. Medication for the eye depends upon what is causing the conjunctivitis. Your veterinarian may want to perform a culture to diagnose what the culprit may be. Most infections of this sort are resolved with eye drops or ointments, such as a triple ophthalmic. If the conjunctivitis is caused by allergies, medications that can control the allergies, like antihistamines, may also be needed. If the infection is severe, the veterinarian may also prescribe an oral antibiotic and steroids. It may also be beneficial for you to wash your chihuahua's eyes with sterile eye irrigating solution. This can help to remove any irritants.
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, also known as KCS or dry eye, is a condition in which there are not enough tears being produced in the eye. This can occur for a number of reasons, including problems with the tear gland or third eyelid. Chihuahuas who have KCS will often display a thick discharge from the eye and will commonly have a buildup of bacteria and other irritants on the eye, since there is not enough lubrication to flush it away. The most effective treatment for chihuahuas with KCS continues to be the use of cyclosporine ophthalmic ointment or drops. If this treatment is ineffective, the drug tacrolimus can be used. Additionally, artificial tears may also be helpful. In chronically severe cases, implanting a salivary duct into the upper eyelid can be performed.
Since your chihuahua's eyes stick out slightly, it is easy for him to experience some sort of trauma. Dogs can get hit in the eye with a stick or even have a piece of sand in the eye that can cause a scratch on their corneas. This can lead to corneal ulceration, which is the loss of cells on the cornea. A corneal ulceration can also lead to infection. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or drops for your dog, along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if the eye is inflamed. Atropine may also be given in order to provide the eye with some pain relief.