Conjunctivitis (eye infections) and corneal ulcers top the list of pets’ most common eye conditions in both dogs and cats, according to Veterinary Pet Insurance. VPI received 21,524 claims for eye conditions in 2006, which accounts for about 4.5 percent of all medical claims the company receives.
Veterinary treatment for the average eye condition costs $156 for dog owners and $130 for cat owners.
The 10 most common eye claims for dogs are:
- Corneal Ulcer
- Keratitis (dry eyes)
- Internal Inflammation
- Senior Cataract
- Glandular Cyst
- Plugged Tear Duct
- External Inflammation
“Pet owners should regularly assess their pet’s eyes,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “An animal’s eyes should be clear, shiny and free of discharge. The tissue surrounding the eyes should be light pink in color. If the eyes appear dry, red, hazy, or produce excessive discharge, it is important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian.”
In dogs, the most common cause of eye trauma is face-first collisions with tree branches. Eye trauma is also common when pets play or fight with other pets, and when they are bathed with eye-irritating shampoos.