Diseases Of Different Organs
A correspondent whose letter appeared in the issue of 4th January refers to the note on this subject and exprsses a wish that had gone more fully into details instead of merely stating simple facts which in the writer’s view, every amateur wuld be acquainted with the correspondent referes to various Toy breeds, like Pekingese and Toy Spaniels, which have large protruding eyes, and suffer from watering and other troubles. To point out at the start that these notes are intended for “novices” in dog keeping, and it is not desirable that those who are inexperienced in such matters should be encouraged to undertake treatment of diseases of such a delicated organ as the eye when even experienced fanciers may very well shrink from amateur treatment. There is no doublt that we want at the present time some veterinary surgeons who have made a special study of the eye and its complaints. We do not myself profess to be at all expert in the knowledge of eye treatment, and any advice We can give must of necessity therefore be to a large extent amateurish, and only intended to apply to simple matters which can be safely left to amateus to doctor at home. Such matters as deep-seated ulcers on the pupil of the eye, referred to by the correspondent mentioned, which mar for life and spoil for exhibition so many of th dogs of these Toy breeds, can only be dealt with satisfactorily under skilled advice. It would be extremely dangerous to recommend any particular lotion and indeed, it is never safe to prescribe treatment for any serious case of eye trouble without a careful preliminary examination such as might be made by a verterinary surgeon skilled in the treatment of the eye. Even so seemingly simple a thing as two grains of zinc sulphate in one ounce or rose water may do harm; and by way of example let me point out that this is comparatively a strong lotion. One grain of zinc sulphate to one ounce of rose water is quite strong enough for ordinary purposes. We therefore propose in what we are about to say to deal only with quite simple cases of eye trouble, and to recommend dog owners who have anything serious the matter to have skilled advice. As already stated, very few veterinary surgeons profess any specialish knowledge of eye treatment, and there are plenty of cases in which an ordinary oculist can be appealed to with greater certainty of skilled advice – if only an oculist in human practise consent to see a canine patient.
Weakness, Inflammation, And Ulceration of the Eye: To begin with the simplest matter first, it may be remarked that dogs often suffer from weak eyes just as human beings do, and this is particulary noticeable in the breeds which have protruding eyes. One of the effects of the constant running of the eye is to create a bare appearance all round, and make the animal look sickly and unhealthy. Probably the most efffective treatment to adopt in a case of this kind is to bathe the eye with milk, which, by reason of the fact that it contains surgery matter, will usually act as a corrective, whilst the fatty matter in milk is sufficient to act as a simple ointment would act. I am not at all favourable disposed to the use of the ordinary eye ointments in cases of this kind. They may be, and often are, excellent in cases of inflammation, etc.; but where it is nothing more than a simple weakness and tendency to watering, my view is that the simpler the treatment the better. Where, however, there is not only weakness, but also inflammation, it will often be found desirable to use an astringent lotion, especially if there is a discharge from the eye and the dog seems disposed to use his paw to irritate it. In this case a weak solution of alum in distilled water, or water that has been boiled and allowed to get cold after boiling, will answer very well. The strength should be one grain, or in bad cases, two grains of alum to each fluid ounce of water. The eye should be bathed with this lotion morning and night, and on the latter occasion after bathing the eye should be anoited with a little spermaceti ointment. This will keep the eye from becoming closed up and unhealthy until the next time of treatment. Another case of eye trouble often more serious is that where ulceration intervenes, as it may do after an accident or for various other reasons. Here, again, a good lotion is necessary, but something more is required in the way of ointment for use afterwards-that is to say, when the ulcer has become healed. Probably there is nothing better than a little boracic acid dissolved in tepid water. At that time a weakened form of red mercurial oxide ointment about one-quarter the strength of the official British Pharmacopocia formula will suffice. It should be applied several times daily, and the lotion may then be discontinued.
Films Over The Eye: Many amateurs experience great alarm when they discover a film or membrane expanding from the corner over the eye, which causes trouble and irritation to the animal, and makes it look rather unsightly. This, however, is not a matter that need cause any alarm whatever. The dog is furnished by Nature with a third eyelid called the haw, the object of which is to furnish a sort of brush to wipe off particles of dust and other foreign matter which may have settled upon the globe of the eye. When the dog is not in good health this membrane has a tendency to expand involuntarily, and this most frequent happens when there is feverishness flying about the system. It is therefore an index very often to the coming of an attact of distemper or jaundice, or some other inflammatory ailment. In such cases the haw itself is generally more or less red, but otherwise it is free form redness, and although it may remain expanded for some time, it will usually recover itself in due course when the actual cause of its extension disappears. It is a great mistake to interfere with this film at all, and even in cases where it remains expanded for a long time nothing in the nature of surgical treament should be attempted. It will be quite sufficient to bathe the eye with a little milk and water, and to keep the dog for a few days in a place where he will be free from strong light not necessarily darkened room, but a shaded room. A little tonic medicine, and sometimes luxative medicine, may have a beneficial effect, but this must be given according to judgement, and will depend upon the cirucumstances of the case and other symptoms of disease which are present.
Serious Injury to the Eye: Dogs often meet with serious eye trouble, which is brought about by fighting or some other injury caused by knocking about, as in the case of field dogs getting into hedgerows and other places where they are liable to get the eyesinjured. Moreover, in some breeds of dogs like the Pug, which have prominent eyeballs, it is no uncommon thing for the eye to be forced out of its socket. This, of course, is a very serious and dangerous matter, and skilled veterinary attention should be given as early as possible. Meantime the safest thing to do is to run a stream of warm water containing a small quantity of boracic acid, by way of antiseptic, over the eye and the socket from which it has been torn. Should veterinary aid not be speedily forthcoming, nothing remains but for the amateur to make an attempt to save the eye by replacing it. To do this, the first thing to do is to smear the eye and the socket with a little 5 percent. Cocaine solution by way of anesthetic. Then with a feature anoint the socket with a little pure almond oil, and push the eye back into its place. When this has been done it should be bandaged up for a few hours.