This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
Ophthalmia, or simple inflammation of the eyes, is very com-mon in dogs, especially daring the latter stages of distemper, when the condition of this organ is often seemingly, though not really, hopeless. On more than one occasion I have saved puppies from a watery grave, whose eyes were said to be beyond cure. Applying no remedy locally, but simply attending to the general health of the dog, I have secured the recovery of the affected eye to its normal condition. The indications are, an unnatural bluish redness of "the white" of the eye, together with a film over the transparent part, which may or may not show red vessels spreading over it. There is great intolerance of light, with a constant watering. If the eye be opened by force, the dog most strenuously resists, giving evidence of pain from exposure to the rays of the sun. This state resembles the "strumous ophthalmia" of children, and may be treated in the same way, by the internal use of tonics, the pills (62) being especially serviceable. In the ordinary ophthalmia, the "white" of the eye is of a brighter red, and the lids are more swollen, while the discharge is thicker, and the intolerance of light is not so great.
The treatment here which is most likely to be of service is of the ordinary lowering kind, exactly the reverse of that indicated above. Purgatives, low diet, and sometimes bleeding, will be required, together with local washes, such as (66) or (56). If the eyes still remain covered with a film, a seton may be inserted in the back of the neck with advantage, and kept open for two or three months.
Cataract may be known by a whiteness, more or less marked in the pupil, and evidently beneath the surface of the eye, the disease consisting in an opacity of the lens, which is situated behind the pupil. It may occur from a blow, or from inflammation, or result from hereditary tendency. No treatment is of avail.
In amaurosis the eye looks clear, and there is no inflammation; the nerve however is destroyed, and there is partial or total blind ness. It may be known by the great size of the pupil.