The common eye injuries that we see in veterinary practice day to day are things like conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers we see quite a few of as well and then less so the traumatic injuries such as tears to the eyelid, or tears to the cornea itself. You can get infections of the orbit or of the eyeball itself. They present in different ways and can be more painful depending on which one it is.
But the most common thing we have is conjunctivitis. And that can be picked up anywhere, when you are outside, inside, from another animal, even from a person potentially and they will come in with sticky eyes, maybe closing their eyes because it is uncomfortable for them to open them properly. They would most likely be in both eyes because when an animal cleans themselves, they will naturally clean both sides of their face and easily transfer that bacteria from one to the other.
The other thing we see quite a lot of are corneal ulcers. They can be traumatic. So, it can be because of an accident where they have had a scratch, or they have hurt their eye going through something sharp like a bush. They are very, very painful. Again, the cat or the dog will most likely present with their eye quite closed because it is uncomfortable for them. You will see colour changes on the front of the cornea in most cases. And there may or may not be evidence of the animal scratching at their eye because of the pain as well. So then you can get some hair loss or scratch marks around the eye.
Less commonly we see tumours, cancers of the eyes. You can see them on eyelids. If they are behind the eye, then you do not see them. But what may present is a bulging eye. And that could then give you a clue that there is something growing behind the eye, maybe an abscess, it could be an infection, or it could be cancer that is growing there. The way we would then look at that would be diagnostic tests, such as imaging, where we can then see with an ultrasound what is going on behind that eye.