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Discoloration of dog's eye, showed up out of the blue

by Steve
(Massachusetts)

Milky area at left part of eye

Milky area at left part of eye

The inner corner of my dog's left eye has a milky area. Can't get her to hold still long enough to tell if there is any swelling or change in shape of the eyeball itself. She seems to be seeing ok although her peripheral isn't what it used to be "back in the day". Don't remember seeing the milky area on Sunday before we left for a short trip, but it was there last night (Tuesday 8/9).


Ally-oop is a 12.5 yo Spayed Female Black Lab mix (no idea with what), we've had her since 10 wks. She's been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, daily treatment 0.2mg 2x of Levothyroxine; Arthritis/bone spur daily treatment 50 2x of Tramadol and 50mg 2x Rimadyl. Last check, she was around 50 lbs. Shares with her litter-mate sister a diet of 3 cups a day for both dogs combined (per vet). Sometimes she gets to it first sometimes Pongo does. Each day pretty much balances out. Vet says both dogs are "obese" thus the reduced amount of food.

Food: Wellness White Fish & Sweet Potato. Very little else to eat other than cream cheese or peanut butter 2x/day to take her oral meds. Due to Pongo's skin allergies we have stopped all manufactured treats although they may get an occasional slice of roast beef or turkey from the cold-cut drawer when I make a sandwich. Pretty sedentary lifestyle. She goes out to do her business 2 or 3 times each day, doesn't drink too much water. I fill their 1-qt bowl usually once a day.

Sometimes runs around for a few minutes chasing or being chased with Pongo, but is slowing down, (ex: takes the stairs slowly, and only when she *has* to). No longer jumps up on the bed (she's been doing that since she could pounce up that high) and spends a lot of time laying down on the cool marble tile in front of the fireplace. Loves to try & steal food off the table or counters. Very rarely successful, although she can now pull the chair away from the table (I've seen the teeth marks on the chair) and manages get up on the chair (all fours) but all that noise usually alerts us before she begins dining on our food. Nothing wrong with her nose at least when it comes to a potential snack!

Recently our A/C was broken for a month and Ally was panting constantly, day and night. Much moreso than Pongo. I thought it was just the added heat and humidity in the house. It was a full week of comfy 74 degrees in the house before the panting subsided, but it has subsided.

Comments for Discoloration of dog's eye, showed up out of the blue

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Aug 11, 2011
Odd development 8/11 - next day
by: Steve (Original Poster)

Is it possible that this milky area could move or recede then expand again? I looked closely at the eye when giving her morning medicines and it didn't appear to be there, but later in the day it was there, expanded almost to the pupil, and then yet later it was less pronounced. Unfortunately, the camera battery was dead so I can't supplement the original photo. 2 or 3 hours between observations. Tried to observe each time with the pupil in the same orientation i.e., straight ahead with head straight ahead.

Starting to wonder whether I can trust my eyes.

Aug 11, 2011
My Online Vet Response for: Discoloration of Dog's eye, showed up out of the blue
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Steve,
From the glare in the photo it is difficult to see that part of her left eye. It appears that the third eyelid is raised, and she has a cloudiness if you look into the pupil of her eye. That is either lenticular sclerosis or a cataract forming. It is usually a gradual process, and is sometimes not noticed until the light shines in their eye a certain way.

So that may be way it seemed to 'suddenly' appear. It would be best to have a veterinary ophthalmologist give her an eye exam, and check BOTH eyes.

I am a bit concerned about her overall health from what you have described of her, that she is an older dog that is very overweight, with low thyroid, and needing a lot of pain medicine due to arthritis. The intolerance to heat is a bit alarming, since low thyroid dogs are usually very chilly, since they have such a slow metabolism.

Has she had her thyroid level checked in the past 3 months? Her dose of Levothyroxine .2 mg two times daily seems very low. I would also advise a complete blood panel and include a T4 for her thyroid.

Although, instead of increasing her thyroid hormone level, it would be best (healthier) to support her thyroid gland with Thytrophin. This is a glandular supplement made by Standard Process to provide the building blocks for the thyroid gland. Her dose would be one tablet two times daily, ok to give with a vegetarian hot dog, or into a piece of banana, instead of peanut butter or other high fat food! Then, after one to two months on the Thytrophin (continuing the Levothyroxine also), have her thyroid level checked. If the level is normal, perhaps a slight decrease in Levothyroxine would be needed, only one tab of .2 mg one time daily.

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART TWO

Aug 11, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Discoloration of Dog's eye, showed up out of the blue PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Steve,
Here is the rest of my response.

With your additional comment, I wonder if you are referring to her THIRD eyelid? This is a membrane that dogs and cats and other mammals have that will raise up to protect the cornea. In reptiles and birds, it is clear, and they will raise it up like a 'windshield' when flying or swimming underwater. In dogs, it will be elevated if they have an eye problem, or damage to the tissues surrounding the eye. As I mentioned earlier, a veterinary ophthalmologist will be able to examine her and determine the problem.

To continue the previous posting:
She needs to eat from a separate bowl from the other dog. That way, you will be able to measure how many calories each dog is eating. A 50 Lb dog should eat about 850 calories per day, or 425 calories two times daily. An 80 lb dog needs to eat 1,200 calories per day, or 600 cal two times daily. If she weighs 80 lbs but her NORMAL weight should be 50, then she should be fed the amount for a 50lb dog to help her lose weight.

I have found that DRY DOG food is very calorie-dense since it does not contain any moisture. So, ONE cup of Wellness may equal 500-600 calories. If she eats one and a half cups daily, or only 3/4 cup two times daily, she IS getting 750-800 cal per day, but it is in such a SMALL quantity that her stomach is still mostly empty, so she feels like she is starving! You need to try the canned Wellness dog food, check the calories, and add in one cup of steamed green beans (20 calories per cup) and some baby carrots (about 3-4 calories per piece), and also a 1 TBSP of lean ground turkey, or chicken lightly cooked or RAW), to make a total meal equal to 425 calories.

This way for each meal she will be eating about 2 cups of food, but ONLY 425 calories. She will feel FULL and not act as hungry, and as she loses a little weight she will be able to be a bit more active, and the increase in activity is GOOD for her joints. She ALSO needs to have some Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate Supplements added to her diet, 1,200 mg per 50 body weight to help her joints.

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART THREE

Aug 11, 2011
My Online Vet Resonse for Discoloration of dog's eye, showed up out of the blue PART THREE
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Steve,
Here is the rest of my response,
AND seeking the help of a holistic veterinarian, to give her dog acupuncture to relieve some of the pain so she is not having to rely so much on Tramadol and Rimadyl. A holistic veterinarian can also guide you in diet and supplements for her joints, depending on her blood panel.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

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: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages: Dog Eye Problems

Aug 11, 2011
Many Thanks
by: Steve (Original Poster)

Thank you Dr. Tillman for your thorough evaluation, even of information not directly related to my original question about her eye. I will look more closely and see if it is actually her 3rd eyelid, which after your messages I think it may be. Upper lid is kinda droopy so that makes sense. Also her vet has mentioned cataract before.

I will definitely be looking into Holistic medicine. I'll also modify both dogs' diet if that will help with their weight challenges. (Pongo is well over 55 pounds, same length and height as shown below). Thank you for the tips on increasing the volume of food while making it more healthy calorie-wise.

One clarification: you said to feed for the target weight, and gave example of an 80 pounds but feeding for 50 pounds, giving caloric breakdown for that. The thing is, she DOES weigh +/- 50 pounds. I do not know what she SHOULD weigh, to determine the proper caloric value for her meals. She measures 24" Base of neck to base of tail, and 20" height, at mid-torso... if that helps at all in figuring out her target.

Again, many-many thanks,

Steve

Aug 11, 2011
Thytrophin & Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate
by: Anonymous

Sorry, wish I had looked for the THYTROPHIN before my last comment. Is there a specific Canine THYTROPHIN tabs (the reviews all indicate human usage) Just want to be sure.

Also the glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate, is that 1,200 mg per 50 per DAY or per MEAL? One last question: If I was to stop Tramadol and Rimadyl for a time, how long until I should notice whether there is any pain? Directions are "daily as needed" but if the meds are working she will not be in pain, but how do I know if the lack of pain is from the meds working, or if it is just NOT there, without test-stopping?

Aug 12, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Discoloration of dog's eye, showed up out of the blue
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Steve,
A veterinarian will have to see her in person to help you gauge her 'correct' body weight. Sometimes you can aim for what they weighed when they were 2 years old (unless they were overweight at that time).

Thytrophin is HUMAN product. Standard Process does carry a veterinary line, but personally for my patients I prefer to use the human Thytrophin. And the dose would be 1 tablet in food two times daily for your dog.

The dose of glucosamine is a minimum of 1,200 mg per 50 lb 1-2 times daily. There is NO upper limit.

Regarding the pain: if the Tramadol and Rimadyl are controlling her pain and they are stopped completely, you would notice within 24 hours;
difficulty and being very slow to get up or lay down. Reluctance to run, go up or down stairs, get up into the car, or possibly even crying or yelping if you push down on her hindquarters.

Since she is already showing signs of slowing down, I wonder how much the meds are controlling her pain. Therefore, instead of stopping the meds completely, I suggest that you decrease to only one dose daily to see how she does. And in the meantime, start the supplements, Thytrophin and glucosamine.

Certainly check out a holistic veterinarian, to guide you along further. To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Aug 18, 2011
Supplement Choices?
by: Steve (Original Poster)

Dr. Tillman,

If I may ask re: the joint supplement, I am comparing products and find different combinations of G and CS, some with added MSM, etc. Here is an example (Product name deleted):
"Each dose contains: (All values are minimum quantities) Glucosamine HCl 1000 mg Chondroitin Sulfate 100 mg MethylSulfonylMethane (MSM) 600 mg Creatine Monohydrate 400 mg Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)* 18 mg Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)** 12 mg Manganese 12 mg Vitamin C 50 mg Vitamin E 50 IU Zinc 2 mg"

Going by your initial statement of 1,200 per 50 pounds, this one seems to come close to the total, but my concern is the ratio of the two. I know that makes a difference in my fish oils (EPA vs DHA), wasn't sure if it matters here. What would be our ideal target for each component, or does it not matter as long as it totals 1,200? Would it also be OK to go 1-1/2 pieces per day to boost values just a bit?

Thanks

Update: I've modified the diet @ meal= 1/2 cup dry Wellness @ each meal until it's gone, 1/2 can Wellness wet, 1c steamed string beans, 10 baby carrots and 1/day I add 1/4c+- lightly cooked meats or fish. They lick the bowls so clean I can't tell whether they are going into, or just came out of, the dishwasher! Apple slices for treats. Thank you!!

Aug 18, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Discoloration of Dog's Eye, showed up out of the blue
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Steve,
The modified diet you have started sounds great. And it sounds like your dogs like it too!

For the dose of glucosamine, aim for:
Glucosamine...(min) 1,200mg/50lbs dog
Chondroitin sulfate...at least half the amt of Glucosamine or 500-600mg
MSM can be 100-500mg/50lb dog (lower level is better if they are prone to loose stool)

Check out this product called Glycoflex II. Your dog would need 2 chews TWO times daily.

Or check out Sea Jerky.

EPA and DHA ingredients would be better provided separately in an Omega 3 fish oil product for dogs. Not altogether in one pill with the glucosamine. Check out the Nordic Naturals fish oil product. One tsp for a 40-59lbs dog is 4,600mg. EPA=15% and DHA=9%

A good product to provide all of the vitamins and minerals your dogs need, is called OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder. It does contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and all the minerals, including Zinc.

It would be best to start ONLY the glucosamine product at first. And continue at the recommended dose. If the dogs are doing well, and no diarrhea after 2 weeks, then add in the next supplement. If everything is still ok after 2 weeks, then the last product. That way you will know which product may be causing a problem, or which one they do not like.

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: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Eye Problems,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Eye Problems Section

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