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Golden Retriever Eye Problem

by Tim
(Evansville, IN, USA)


Two days ago I noticed some redness in my 13 year old golden retriever's right eye. Yesterday, I noticed that it was a little more red and the bottom eyelid had a slight droop to it.

Today, it doesn't seem to be any more red, but the bottom eyelid is definitely sagging down more, and the third eyelid or clear film seems to be coming up half way over her eye.

It is tough to see her right eye at all through this clear eyelid or film. She doesn't seem to be in any pain or really that much discomfort, but her mood does seem to be down.

Background: She has been quite healthy most of her life. However, two months ago she had lost a lot of weight and began getting dizzy and falling over at times. She wouldn't eat any of her food, but still loved her treats.

After a trip to the vet, she got a steroid injection and we switched her food. She also had blood work done, but everything tested out fine.

We started with canned dog food and slowly switched back to a different type of dry food. Her weight is back to where it was before and she has been fine and seemed back to normal for about 7 weeks.

This information may not be pertinent, but I included it just to be safe.

She is an indoor dog, and spends an average of less than 1 hour outside each day.

Comments for Golden Retriever Eye Problem

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Jan 30, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Golden Retriever Eye Problem
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Tim,
The condition your dog has is called Horner's Syndrome. It causes drooping of the eyelid, causes the eyeball to be sunken (making the third eyelid raise up), and causes the pupil to constrict.

It is caused by a disruption in the sympathetic nerve, usually the Vagus nerve. This nerve exits the brain and travels down the neck through the chest. Therefore, any compression or damage to the nerve can result in Horner's syndrome on the same side. It is interesting you noted a problem 2 months ago with dizziness and in-coordination. This was probably Senile Vestibular Syndrome, which occurs as a type of stroke in the balance center in the brain of older dogs. That may have been a precursor to this problem now.

For a diagnosis of where the problem lies, you should take your dog to a neurologist. I would be concerned about a possible canine tumor pushing on the nerve. Of course, seeking the help of a holistic vet may also help to treat the symptoms.

Horner's syndrome is not painful, but if your dog has a tumor (in the brain, neck or chest), any increase in pressure in these areas could certainly cause more problems.

Also, I would seriously consider a gradual change AWAY from dry dog food. See our page on the 10 Best Dog Food options and check out the RAW diets. This may be a bit expensive (compared to dry dog food), but it would be MUCH healthier for her!

And, DO NOT give her ANY dog vaccinations. You mentioned that she has been very healthy all of her long life (13 years old is a good age to attain for a large breed dog), but too frequent and too many vaccinations over that period of time can result in tumors and chronic illness.

See our page on alternative medicine for dogs, and scroll down to homeopathy.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area.

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.

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

Jun 17, 2013
Droopy eyelid NEW
by: Mike Addorisio

Our 18 week old Golden Retriever/St Bernard mix started with the droopiness in both eyes a few days ago. We took him to the vet who gave eyedrops and told us to come back in 3 or 4 days if not cleared up. We began putting Frontline on him a day before his problem and was wondering if he may have got it on his bedding and then transferred it to his eyes. This seems like a possible cause and effect. Any ideas?

Jun 18, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Golden Retriever Eye Problem NEW
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

June 18, 2013

Dear Mike,

Thanks for your question. 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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