Thursday, November 24, 2011

741. Keratitis in pugs and people

Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea. In people wearing soft contact lens, there are 3 types of keratitis:

1. Infective Keratitis. Cornea inflammation caused by micro-organisms like baceria, fungi and parasites. Can lose eye-sight if not treated early or by appropriate antibiotics. Cloudy scar on cornea when healed. A person can't see clearly. Same with pugs and other dogs. Big prolem in pugs and shih tzus. It is called ulcerative keratitis. See one picture below:

2. Epthelial Keratitis. The top layer of the cornea is inflamed. Small holes are seen in the epithelium. It is called punctate epithelial erosions and this is also commonly seen in pugs and shih tzus. For the dogs, it is due to traumatic injury. See the green spots of one pug's eye below:
The holes may get infected by bacterial.

3. Allergic Conjunctivitis. The membrane which is below the eyelids is called conjunctiva. An allergic reaction to the contact lens or its solution leads to eyelid swelling and pain.

Chemosis - swelling of eyelids.

Ulcerative Keratitis is commonly seen due to injury to the protruding eyeball. Early treatment saves the eye sight.

Many Singapore owners of the pug and shih tzu and related breeds have no time to maintain the facial folds or damage the cornea during cleaning of the facial fold. Hairs get trapped inside the eyelids and as you can see from the picture below, the cornea is deprived of oxygen by the turfs of hair and get irritated and infected by bacteria found in the hairs.

My advice is to get your vet to excise both facial folds, preventing the formation of ulceratitive keratitis. But many Singapore owners do not want to accept this advice and so, as the years pass by, the cornea becomes blackened or browned by pigments (chronic irritation for many years). The dog is practicallly blind but the owner is not personally affected. It is just so sad. Keeping the eyes of pugs, shih tzus and pekineses clear and transparent to old age is a heavy responsibility. I hope the younger google generation will be more enlightened and sophisticated to prevent such problems by early treatment at the vet or by getting the facial fold excision done.

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