Previously, we covered caring for your cockapoo’s eyes in some detail. While keeping your dog’s eyes clean and bright is important, it is no guarantee against eye health problems. In fact, some of the most common health issues that appear in cockapoos are vision related. Now we are going to examine each eye health problem briefly here, and include links to more in-depth examinations of several of them.
Eye health problems can include glaucoma, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). All of these can be common in the poodle and cocker spaniel breeds, so there is a chance that they may be passed down to your cockapoo from its parents. If you know the parent’s health, you will have a clearer view of the chances your cockapoo has of getting these ailments. If you don’t know much about your cockapoo’s parents, here are some of the signs to watch out for and some treatment options.
Cataracts: Cataracts can develop in a dog with old age, eye trauma or disease in the eye. It is easily treated with drops and a dog can live comfortably with care. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy or blurred. It can affect small or larger areas of the eye. Some instances of cataracts are small enough that it doesn’t affect the vision much, but in common cases it will cause your cockapoo’s vision to be blurry. Watch for eye cloudiness or a blue gray color to the eye lens. If you see this occurring, you should make an appointment with the veterinarian. If cataracts are left untreated they can lead to glaucoma.
Cherry Eye: In some young dogs, a protrusion of the third eye lid can occur. This condition is called cherry eye. This can cause a build up of bacteria and will eventually be irritating and possible cause injury to the eye. This can affect one or both of the dogs eyes, and is treated with surgery to remove the third eye lid.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma occurs when pressure on the eye restricts its ability to drain fluid properly. This can occur if a cataract becomes dislodged and moves, which blocks the drainage. It can also happen from eye disease or injury. Many dogs that have glaucoma develop partial or total blindness with in the first year. Some symptoms to look out for include swelling in the eyeball, excessive tearing of the eye, trouble with vision or blindness and redness of the eyes. If you suspect your cockapoo of having trouble seeing you should seek medical attention.
Tips to avoid glaucoma include preventing accidental cleaner or outdoor chemical sprays near your dog’s eyes. When taking a car ride with your dog, you should encourage her to keep her head inside the vehicle to prevent injury to the eye and for general safety. If your dog gets anything in his eye you can wash it out with a sterile eye wash. Dogs can develop eye disease from bacteria and fungus, so keeping an eye wash on hand is a good idea at all times.
PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a hereditary eye disease that can occur in cockapoos. The good news is that most often it will not affect a puppy if both parents are not carriers of PRA. This disease is degenerative and will affect your cockapoo’s vision over an extended length of time. He most likely would adjust to his failing vision while it was happening.
There is little that can be done for prevention with this eye disease. Currently there is no cure for PRA, and blindness comes with the disease at some point. Early detection of this disease can make some difference for you and your cockapoo as far as adjusting to the changes that will occur. If you notice your pooch loosing his peripheral vision, or becoming unsure in dark or low light, you will want to have him checked. If you have a blind dog, or your dog is losing his sight, we have also posted an article about taking care of blind dogs.
Other Eye Issues: More possible eye health issues can come from allergies, which can cause a dermatitis around the eye and become an infection, and conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis will make your cockapoo’s eyes itchy and he may have a discharge from one or both of the eyes. You can try cleaning the eye if you see your dog rubbing at the eyes or showing discomfort, but you may need an eye drop or cream from the veterinarian.
In closing, cockapoo eye health is easy to maintain and care for if you keep regular check ups and practice good grooming and eye care, whether at home or a grooming shop. Check your pup’s eyes regularly and keep them clean and healthy!