Strabismus in Dogs: When we adopt a dog, we make it one of our family, that’s why we have to take proper care of them and give them all the love we have. At the end of the day, these animals depend entirely on us to live, so if we notice that something happens to them, we must be careful and take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible to detect what our pet has.
Strabismus in Dogs
This is why we should go to a professional to explain what is causing this deviation if we notice that one or both eyes of our dog deviate and are not able to focus in the same direction.
Most often, if this is what happens to your pet, the vet will tell you that your four-legged friend has an eye disorder called strabismus. This is why if this is what happens to you here, you will find everything you need to know about this disorder and how to treat it.
What is Squint?
Strabismus is an eyeball coordination disorder that affects both humans and dogs that is based on the fact that the eyes are not able to turn in one direction simultaneously.
The eyes of the animals move thanks to six muscles that are classified into three groups:
- Straight muscles: They are the dorsal, ventral, medial, and lateral muscles. Are these muscles located in the sclera? The white part of the eyeball? Between the tendons. The dorsal and ventral muscles make the eye move left and right, while the medial and lateral muscles allow it to move up and down.
- Oblique muscles: These are the dorsal and ventral muscles; these are the muscles that allow the circular movement of the eyes.
- Retractor eye muscle: Located behind the cone-shaped eyeball on the optic nerve.
The correct functioning of these muscles means that the eyes can move simultaneously, and in a coordinated way if any of these muscles are affected, strabismus occurs.
There Are Different Types of Squint:
- Convergent squint: The eyes drift inward.
- Divergent squint: Eyes stray out.
- Dorsal squint: Eyes deviate upward.
- Ventral squint: Eyes stray downward.
If your pet suffered from strabismus of one of the first two types, both eyes of your pet would be affected; however, if the strabismus you suffer from is of the last two types, this disease will only affect your pet in an eye.
Causes of Strabismus in Dogs
There are two factors that are the main causes of this disorder:
- Congenital causes: In this case, the dog is already born with this disorder due to an alteration in the eye muscles. There are some breeds that are more likely to develop this disorder, such as pugs or pugs.
- Acquired causes: In this case, the disorder has been developing throughout the dog’s life. This can occur due to trauma, tumors, nerve diseases affecting the extraocular muscles, or disorders of the vestibular system.
Some of the diseases related to this disorder are those that affect the dog’s immune system, such as immune-mediated myositis. This disease is characterized by the infiltration of inflammatory cells in the muscles. This causes the eye muscles to not move correctly, causing strabismus and even exophthalmia.
Likewise, one of the most frequent tumors that can cause this disease is a neoplasm in the eye of our pet that can put pressure on the eye muscles, causing them not to move normally. Likewise, the most frequent injuries that can cause this disorder are those in which our dog fractures the zygomatic bone, which is the one that is located under the eye and connects the skull with the jaw.
Finally, malformations, like hydrocephalus, is also a common cause of strabismus in dogs.
How to Detect Strabismus in Dogs
Detecting strabismus in dogs is relatively easy since simply looking at the dog’s eyes and checking that they do not fixate on the same target or that one of the two eyes deviates, we could already detect it. If the last case were the ones that affected your dog, we could say almost completely sure that our pet suffers from this disorder.
Likewise, if the strabismus was caused by some disease, our dog could have other symptoms such as apathy, loss of appetite, or drowsiness.
When strabismus occurs due to another disease affecting our dog, the treatment is to eliminate it. If the strabismus that our pet has is very serious or is seriously affecting our pet’s life, surgical intervention would have to be carried out. In the event that congenital causes caused the strabismus, that is, the dog was born with this disorder, normally it is not usually necessary to carry out any treatment since our pet can lead a completely healthy life.
Most Frequent Races to Have Strabismus
Although this disorder can affect any breed of dog, including crossbreeds, the one that occurs due to congenital causes is more common in carlin. This is due to the massive breeding that the puppies of this breed suffer. For this reason, it is extremely important that when we acquire this breed. We make sure that a breeder is a responsible person and that he takes good care of his animals, not only to prevent our puppy suffers from this eye disorder but to end this practice that does no good to the animal world.
Likewise, the pugs are the most likely to suffer from this disorder, but there are other breeds, such as the Shar-Pei, the Irish Wolfhound, and the Akita, who can also develop this disease to congenital causes.