This article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News column on Pet360.com as: How Did Lance Bass' Foster Dog Lose an Eye?
It’s great to see celebrities using their notoriety to benefit the welfare of animals. Even better is when these well-known individuals engage in social media (which is free and wide-reaching) to help find adoptive homes for animals in need.
Recently, Lance Bass posted a photo of himself and a cute one-eyed dog on his Instagram page.
Bass included the message:
Meet Buddy our newest Lucky Puppy! We have tons of fun presents for whoever finds a great home for him! DirtyPopLive@gmail.com for info (yes he has one eye! So cool!)
Of course, my veterinary-focused mind focused on the potential health issues that could have caused Buddy to lose his eye.
Potential Health Issues That May Result in Eye Loss
Cataract is an opacity in the lens of the eye that completely obstructs light from coming into contact with the image-producing inner surface (retina). Cataracts can be congenital (and even breed-related, such as in Cocker Spaniels), be an age-related process, or occur secondary to diseases (diabetes, etc.).
Some pets are born with development problems in one or both eyes. Herding breeds, like the Collie and Australian Shepherd are well-known for a congenital condition calledmicrophthalmia.
Bacterial, fungal, viral, or even parasitic organisms can cause eye infection and permanently damage the eye structure or eye lids.
Environmental allergens, smoke, heat, or chemicals (including shampoos and sprays commonly used by groomers) can lead to ulceration of the cornea (outer surface of the eyeball) and potentially lead to permanent eye damage. Inflammation can also be caused by the scraping action of eyelashes caused by inward rolling of the eyelids (entropion) and abnormally positioned hairs (ectopic cilia and distichiasis).
Elevated pressure within the eyeball can cause a swollen appearance to the eye and cause a serious discomfort. If Glaucoma cannot be managed with medication, then the eye(s) may need to be surgically removed.
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS), also known as dry eye, causes mild to moderate corneal irritation, scarring, and eventual blindness.
Although it’s not overly common, cancer has the potential to affect our pets’ eyes. Lymphoma, melanoma, and nerve tissue cancer are some of those that can strike dog eyes.
The most common reason why pets lose an eye is trauma. A blunt object coming into contact with the eye, a scratch from a claw, penetrating injury from a tooth or plant are potential culprits. Additionally, head trauma (hit-by-car, horse kick, etc.) can cause a dog’s eyeball to pop out of the socket (proptosis), which then requires the eye to be surgically repaired or removed.
But Why is Lance Bass’ Dog Missing an Eye?
Currently, it’s unknown why Buddy is missing his left eye.
Most general practices and veterinarians are equipped to handle routine evaluation and treatment of common canine eye problems. Diagnostics such as fluoroscein staining (to look for corneal ulceration), tonometry (to test intraocular pressure), and Schirmer Tear Test (STT, which evaluates tear production) are used to help achieve an accurate diagnosis.
Occasionally, eye issues are more severe and require the expert perspective of an experienced specialist. There are dog and cat (plus other species) eye doctors called veterinary ophthalmologists or Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology (DACVO). Besides your veterinarian’s referral, you can find one in your area here.
Is Having a One-eyed Dog Appropriate for All Households?
No, not all households are appropriate for visually impaired pets.
Dogs missing one or both of their eyes need to have special attention paid when a person or other pet is approaching. Upon your approach, make sure to allow yourself to be sufficiently seen. Never sneak up on a sight-challenged pet.
The home environment also needs to be modified to ensure that a pooch lacking ideal visual acuity does not hurt himself during day-to-day navigation. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Places where a serious slip and fall could occur, such as stairs, ledges, and other hazards, should be appropriately obstructed. Additionally, elevated beds, couches, and other lounging platforms should be lowered or access to such sites should be blocked.
If Buddy hasn’t already found a new forever home, I hope he finds one very soon.
Thank you for reading this article. Your questions and comments are completely welcome (I’ll respond).
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Copyright of this article (2013) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.