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Black Spot on Dog's Sclera (white part of eye), Poor Eyesight & Eye Discharge

by Jackie W.
(Boston, MA)

Rosie's Eye Now

Rosie's Eye Now

Rosie's Eye Now

Rosie
Rosie

Rosie is a 4 year old French bulldog. Yesterday I noticed a black spot in the sclera (white part) of her eye. I mentioned it to my boyfriend and he said he noticed it recently but hadn't always remembered seeing it.


I looked back to pictures from Christmas (10 months ago) and the spot wasn't there (see photos). Upon closer examination of her eye, I noticed brown patches in the sclera as well, which seems consistent with melanoma.

Also, in the last 1-2 years she's had discharge from her eyes. I asked the vet about it and he said it's common in small dogs (tear stains) so I didn't think anything of it. Now I am starting to wonder if it's all related.

I also think her eyesight isn't great. Sometimes at the dog park she looks around for us and then I call her and she comes running over. We have actually laughed about it from time to time, but now I am worried and again I am thinking it's all related.

I made an appointment with a dog eye doctor, but it's not for 2 weeks. Hoping someone can look at the photos and the signs and symptoms I just described and let me know what it could be. Seems like it could be cancer. If so, I am hoping its something benign and treatable. She's only 4, so it seems too young to have something malignant.

Thanks for your help,

Rosie's Mom

Comments for Black Spot on Dog's Sclera (white part of eye), Poor Eyesight & Eye Discharge

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Nov 07, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Black spot on Dog's Sclera (white part of eye), Poor Eyesight & Eye Discharge
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 6, 2013

Dear Rosie's Mom,
From the photo of Rosie 'now' you have pulled down the lower lid on the *outer* part of her LEFT eye. (This is called the lateral canthus area.) In all of the other photos taken in the past, you only show the *inner* part of her LEFT eye. The outer part of her sclera is not even visible. So, it is difficult to even know from the past photos if this was present or not.

In my opinion, looking at what I consider to be brown, (not black) pigment on the sclera of her eye, it looks like normal pigmentation to me. Malignant melanoma is rare in a dog so young, and is BLACK in color, usually raised off the surface, and more 'angry' in appearance. The eye discharge is common in short nose (brachycephalic) breeds of dogs, but it can be lessened by improving the diet and NOT feeding DRY Dog food. See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options, http://www.organic-pet-digest.com/10-best-dog-food-options.html, and consider a RAW food diet for Rosie!

I am not sure how you are judging her eyesight. There may be lots of distractions outside at a park, all the different smells, sounds etc. so her not seeming to locate you immediately unless you call her, may not be a 'fair' test of her eyesight. I would see how well she does in a darkened room navigating around furniture or other obstacles and find out if she bumps into anything.

And take this photo with you to the veterinary ophthalmologist. It is a great picture of the 'lateral canthus' of her eye, showing off the pigment well. This way the veterinarian can judge if it has been spreading, or enlarging, during the past 2 weeks. During this exam, her retina can be examined to make sure she does not have any retinal degeneration, which could lead to blindness, or premature cataract formation.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.





Nov 07, 2013
Response
by: Rosie's Mom

Hi Dr.

Thank you for your response. I realized that the photo of the actual black spot didn't come out well (wish I could repost). Its the one of the inner part paired side by side. The picture on the left is before and the picture on the right (the darker one) is the current photo. If you look closely, you see the black spot that is coming down from her iris and in the white part of her eye. The dark oval spot wasn't there in the last 12 months. It doesn't look raised, so I guess that's a good thing. It almost looks like pigment, but I just worry about how rapidly it developed. I will get it checked out though.

Thank you for the advice on the dog food. She's been eating semi-soft moist and meaty but I think it's time to switch to something more natural. I will post the findings of her exam after we go.

Thanks again!


Nov 08, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Black Spot on Dog's Sclera (white part of eye), Poor Eyesight & Eye Discharge
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 7, 2013

Hi Jackie, (aka Rosie's Mom!)

Looking at the photos on my iPhone, (instead of my computer), I can see what you are concerned about. The 'new' black spot is below and toward the inner corner of her left eye. It is definitely not something that was there in the 'before' picture. But it is not the best photo, so I am glad you are taking her to a veterinary ophthalmologist for another opinion!

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.


Nov 24, 2013
pixie pug
by: molly

i have a pug named pixie she is about 5. i discovered exactly the same type of dark spot on her eye today. She doesnt seem like it is bothersome to her but i am concerned. Have you found anything out with Rosie?

Sep 06, 2014
What happened to Rosie, Diagnosis
by: Puppy Owner

Hi Rosie's mom,

My 4 month old German Shepard have the same thing from yesterday but in both eyes and am on vacation 7+ hours from any good vets ,so can you tell me what happened to Rosie... Is it something serious or it can wait till we go back home??

Sep 11, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Black Spot on Dog's Sclera (white part of eye), Poor Eyesight & Eye Discharge
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

September 11, 2014

Dear Puppy Owner,
Regarding Jackie, (Rosie's Mom), she never responded to my post from November 7, 2013, so I do not know her diagnosis.

Most acute eye problems are best dealt with immediately by a veterinarian, rather than online. Pigment changes, or more gradual lesions, may be diagnosed online, but it can be problematical depending on the quality of photos that are submitted.

In the case of your 4 month old German Shepherd puppy, since you did not sign up, nor submit any photos, I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos.

I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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