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Corneal Dermoids in Dogs

Corneal, or ocular, dermoids in dogs are a rare type of ocular abnormality that can affect the cornea, leading to potential vision impairment and discomfort for dogs. Today, our Tucson vets explain this condition more in-depth,  as well as how they are treated and how much it may cost.

What are corneal dermoids in dogs?

Ocular dermoids, also known as dermoids of the eye, are an overall rare type of ocular condition. However, they are a common issue found in certain dog breeds, such as the Dachshund, Doberman Pinscher, Dalmatian, St. Bernard, German Shepherd, and Golden Retriever. 

These abnormal growths can cause discomfort and irritation for your pet. If you notice any discharge or abnormal growth on your dog's eye, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for proper evaluation and treatment.

What causes corneal dermoids in dogs?

There is no known single cause of ocular dermoids in dogs. However, there are some specific things to be aware of and understand when it comes to this condition.

  1. Genetic Predisposition: Certain dog breeds, such as the ones mentioned above, can be predisposed to ocular dermoids. However, any dog has the potential to be affected. It can be inherited from one or both parents, increases the likelihood of your dog being inflicted with it.
  2. Developmental Abnormalities: Developmental abnormalities during fetal development, such as imporper cell migration or differentiation, can lead to the formation of corneal dermoids. 
  3. Environmental Factors: Exposure to pollutants or trauma to the eye can disrupt normal cell development in the cornea, leading to the formation of dermoids.

What are the symptoms of corneal dermoids in dogs?

There are a few symptoms of corneal dermoids to watch out for. These include:

  • Discharge in your dog’s eye
  • Hair growing towards your dog’s eye that does not appear “normal”
  • Irritation of your dog’s eye
  • Your dog pawing, scratching, or appearing to be bothered by their eye
  • Growths on the eye, eyelid, or surround eye area 
  • Cloudiness of the eye

How can vets diagnose corneal dermoids in dogs?

If you notice any abnormalities in your dog's eyes, such as the symptoms listed above, it is important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Providing information about your dog's breed or adoption status can help the veterinarian assess potential genetic predispositions or health concerns. 

During the examination, the veterinarian will check for any lesions, abrasions, growths on the eyelids, and other issues that may be affecting your dog's eye health. Light sensitivity and vision testing may also be done to aid in making an accurate diagnosis.

What is the treatment for corneal dermoids in dogs?

Surgical removal is the main treatment for an ocular dermoid in dogs. It is performed under general anesthesia. It eliminates any growths or inward growing hairs causing irritation and also addresses lesions on the cornea or other areas around the eye.

The cost of ocular dermoid removal surgery for dogs can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the specific treatment plan recommended by the veterinarian. It is recommended to consult with your veterinarian for an accurate estimate of the cost.

After surgery, your dog will receive oral antibiotics for up to 14 days and may be prescribed a topical ointment for the surgical site. To prevent any damage to the eye or sutures, an Elizabethan cone may be necessary. Additionally, eye drops may be recommended to reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation. 

What is the prognosis for dogs that have had corneal dermoid surgery?

The prognosis for dogs that have had corneal dermoid surgery is generally good, with most experiencing improved comfort and vision post-operatively.

Recovery from surgery typically takes about 2 weeks. By the 4-week mark at the latest, your dog should no longer show signs of pain or discomfort. Your veterinarian may recommend bringing your dog in before the 2-week mark to assess healing progress.

Corneal dermoids have a low rate of recurrence after surgical removal, but it is still possible for them to reappear. Regular follow-up examinations with a veterinarian are recommended to monitor for any signs of recurrence and ensure prompt treatment if needed.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Your dog's vision is precious. Schedule an appointment with Pet Doctor today if you notice symptoms of ocular dermoids in your dog to get them treated promptly.

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