You’re a whippet owner. You love your whippet. However, lately, your whippet has been having a lot of problems with its eyes. This scratching and rubbing is getting out of control! What do you do?
Well, this could be a scary situation if your pet doesn’t receive the proper care it deserves.
That’s why in this post we go through everything you need to know about whippet eye problems and how to prevent and treat them.
Let’s get to it…
How To Identify Eye Problems In Your Whippet
First of all, you need to be able to identify the first symptoms of possible whippet eye problems.
The first symptoms are redness, itchiness and tearing.
This is due to blocked tear ducts or simply an infection in either eyes or ears. You might also notice your whippet scratching or becoming uncomfortable.
If you notice any of those symptoms, it’s time to visit a vet as soon as possible.
You may also notice your whippet squinting and rubbing his eyes, the eyes may become swollen and red.
It’s usually relatively easy to spot eye problems in your whippet as they are very sensitive animals that will tell you that something is wrong.
They may be extra needy or not stop following you around, which are both warning signs.
You have to take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice something is wrong, because eye problems can lead to serious consequences if not treated properly right away.
Your whippet will need medication, which he will need ongoing treatment for.
This also means that his eyes won’t be cured immediately, which is why identifying the problem early is crucial.
Types Of Whippet Eye Problems
There are lots of different eye problems your whippet may suffer from, and all require different types of treatment.
I’ve listed some of the most common whippet eye problems below;
A condition in which the lower eyelid is turned outwards. This causes irritation and discomfort from misaligned lashes rubbing against your whippet’s eye.
This eye problem generally is not a serious one and will usually correct itself by the whippet’s next “shedding” phase.
Distichia is a condition in which a whippet has extra eyelashes growing from an abnormal part of the eye, often from within the eye.
Distichia can cause irritation and discomfort, meaning your dog may automatically try to wipe the affected area, causing runny eyes.
It is very similar to having a person with “pop-eye” or swollen eyes due to poor circulation.
Distichia is not curable but the symptoms can be managed by your vet’s advice on eye drops and wipes that can ease your whippet’s discomfort during their daily activities.
This eye problem is a clouding of the lens in your whippet’s eye. It can make a whippet’s eyes appear hazy or milky and can seriously affect their vision, sometimes even causing complete blindness as the condition progresses.
Cataracts are common as whippets age but if you notice any changes in your dog’s eyesight, don’t hesitate to speak with your veterinarian.
Another common eye problem in whippet is eye infections. These can cause your whippet’s eyes to become red and inflamed, to discharge a sticky yellow fluid or for their eyes to appear glassy and dull.
Just like with humans, eye infections in dogs can bring on symptoms such as itchiness and pain that can seriously hamper your whippet’s vision if left untreated.
Thankfully this condition is not too dangerous and often only requires a course of antibiotics from your vet to clear.
Dry eye is a disease commonly found in older whippets. It is characterised by inflammation and changes to the structure of your dog’s eyes that make it difficult for them to produce tears.
Many dogs suffering from this condition also experience conjunctivitis, which can lead to scarring.
Dry eye can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs or ointments but is also sometimes fixed by placing a small gold weight in the eyelid to encourage normal tear production.
This eye condition is one that all whippet owners should be aware of. Glaucoma is the build up of pressure in your dog’s eye which can cause blindness or even total loss of vision.
This pressure build-up is often the result of an enlarged pupil, which acts to block normal drainage within your dog’s eyes.
Glaucoma is serious and sometimes life threatening . If you think your whippet may be showing signs of glaucoma, see a vet immediately.
Tumours / Masses
Tumours and masses in your whippets eye can be benign, malignant or even metastatic. Often there is a genetic link involved.
This is another serious eye problem that requires immediate attention from your veterinarian. If you spot any abnormal mass in your whippets eye then see your vet ASAP.
One of the most heartbreaking eye problems for us whippet owners is blindness in your whippet. This can be caused by any number of problems and anything from inflammation to trauma.
There is also a condition called persistent pupillary membranes in whippets in which the pupils remain open and do not contract in bright light.
There are many different causes of blindness in dogs, but no breed is immune. If you are lucky, your whippet will only be blind for a few days or weeks until their eyes heal. However, blindness can also be caused by many different types of cancer and other diseases.
How To Prevent Whippet Eye Problems
When it comes to preventing eye problems in your whippet, thankfully there are a couple of things you can do.
The first is to make sure your whippet always wears a collar. Do not let them off the leash in public until you are 100% certain they won’t run away. This ie because they may end up running into a tree, fence, or other harmful objects that could cause them harm.
The second thing you can do is make sure to prevent infections by keeping their eyes clean.
This should become part of your regular grooming routine and be done at least once a month.
Using dog eye wash to keep your pups eye clean is simple, easy to use and very effective in preventing whippet eye problems.
You will also want to make sure you keep your whippet’s eyes protected from UV rays and direct sunlight.
Sadly, there are no cool doggy shades that your pup could wear and look super-fly, but wearing a doggy-branded T-shirt to protect their eyes from the sun is not out of the question.
Another effective way to reduce and prevent eye problems in your whippet is to ensure that they are fed a healthy, nutritious diet and have plenty of physical exercise each day.
This will keep their bodies operating as it should and keep them fit and healthy, allowing them to fight off infections and keep free of disease as much as they possible can.
Sadly, there isn’t a huge amount you can do about external factors such as your whippet running into an object, but as mentioned above, keeping a close eye on your whippet whilst on walks and having them off-leash is crucial.
When To See A Vet
If you suspect that your whippet has any of the above eye problems, it’s important to seek the advice of a vet immediately.
Although some of the eye problems above may not be life threatening, it’s a case of damage limitation as many can become progressively worse over time.
There are many eye conditions that require immediate veterinary attention.
Iritis for example is an inflammatory disease of the iris (the pigment of the anterior part of the eye).
Your whippet’s pupils may look red and inflamed, or they may be completely non-responsive to light.
If you notice any redness, irritation, or abnormal tear stains on your dogs face, make sure to contact your vet immediately.
These are all signs that point towards whippet eye problems and could require immediate medical attention.
It’s also worth remembering that over time your whippet is more likely to be affected by eye problems as they age.
Typically in the later stages of their lives they may suffer from eye problems, the most common of which is cataracts.
This is why it’s important to make regular vet appointments for your whippet, and to make sure they get a regular check-up.
Vets will often be able to catch serious eye problems early if you take your pet for regular check ups, making them much more likely to survive and recover from the eye problem.
In conclusion, whippet eye problems are a serious issue that many pet owners face.
It’s vital to know what to look out for, and how to treat these problems if they should occur.
Now that you’re aware of the most common whippet eye problem symptoms, it’s time to take action.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from an eye problem, take them to the vets immediately to get them the help they need.
Whippets are a great breed, make sure they stay healthy and happy by keeping up with their regular check-ups.
I hope this article has been useful – thanks for reading!
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!