Strabismus in dogs can cause one or both of your pets eyes to point gradually in abnormal directions, or it can develop very suddenly.
However, it is not merely a condition that is often referred to as cross eyes in dogs, as it can be much more serious.
It can also affect the size of your dog’s pupils, as well as the movement of the eyes that is extremely abnormal.
If it becomes severe, it can also cause head tilting as well as a very sudden mental dullness that can very easily lead to seizures.
If this occurs, it is now a life threatening situation for your dog.
Strabismus in dogs is a condition where there is a misdirection of your dog’s eyes, and it can affect just one eye, or both eyes.
In normal vision your dog’s eyes point forward in a direction that is parallel to their nose.
With strabismus, your dog’s eye or eyes are turned either inward toward their nose, or outward away from their nose.
In most all cases with this condition, your dog’s eye within their socket is actually normal; it is the direction of the eye that is malfunctioning.
When both of your dog’s eyes are affected and they turn to the outside of your dog’s nose, it is referred to as divergent.
If they point inward, the condition is than referred to as convergent.
However, there are two more possibilities that may affect their eyes with this condition; they may also be deviated in an upward or downward position.
If this does happen, it is not only a very frightening situation; it can also be a much more serious situation for your dog.
Strabismus in dogs can occur in of all ages and can affect any breed.
However, it can also be a congenital condition where it occurs at birth, or it may not occur in the latter years of your dog’s life.
If it occurs at any time other than at birth and your dog has had no previous history, it can very easily be something serious affecting their eye muscles or the nerves controlling these muscles.
The first potential cause is referred to as Hydrocephalus and affects primarily puppies or older dogs.
This is a neurological disease where an excessive amount of water or cerebrospinal fluid, also known as CSF, develops in the ventricular system of your dog’s brain.
CSF is a very normal and extremely important liquid that is formed in your pets brain as it bathes, protects, as well as circulates through your dog’s brain system.
Once it is circulated through your dog’s brain and the coverings, it is than absorbed back into the circulatory system.
In young dogs, CSF may not circulate properly and will start to accumulate in their brain, causing their fontanel, which is the soft spot that normally closes right after birth, to begin to bulge.
Young dog’s bones in their skull at this point are still very soft, and this can cause a dome shaped cranium which can result in Strabismus.
If this condition develops in older dogs, it is usually the result of something even more sinister.
The next potential cause of Strabismus in dogs may be from a toxicity that is causing paralysis of the nerves, and is usually the result of botulism or tick paralysis.
Botulism in a dog is a rapidly fatal disease that results from a nerve toxin produced by Clostridium bacteria.
The most common way that your dog comes into contact with this deadly bacteria, is by consuming a dead animal that has come into contact with the toxin.
After it has been consumed, this deadly toxin travels from their stomach into their intestines and then into the blood supply.
Once it hits the blood supply, it attacks nerves that affect your dog’s muscles. The first set of nerves to be affected is usually the eyes.
Tick paralysis can also cause the same set of characteristics, but it is very uncommon in dogs.
The next set of potential causes of Strabismus in dogs will be from inflammation of your dog’s nerves that are the result of Coon hound paralysis, or diseases of your dog’s inner or middle ears.
However, it may also be the result of an inflammation of the center of the brain.
Coon hound paralysis is somewhat misleading, as it can affect any dog breed, not just Coon hounds.
This is an especially dangerous disease that is an acute neurological disorder that generally affects your dog’s nerves that control the muscles in their legs, but it also affects their neck.
it also affects their eyes as well as the muscles that control their barking and breathing.
It is believed to be the result of an over stimulation of the immune system resulting from contact with an infected raccoon, especially if the come into contact with their saliva.
Inflammation of the brain in your dogs is an extremely serious condition, and may the result of several causes, including meningitis.
Meningitis is an inflammation that affects the meninges of the brain, which are three membranes that cover your dog’s brain and spinal cord.
It has no known cause, and it generally seen in medium to large breed dogs, but is believed to be caused by a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection.
With this condition, you may see a sudden fever and neck pain in your dog as well as Strabismus.
Central vestibular disease, which is the result of an abnormality within the nerves of your dog’s inner ears, may also be the cause, especially if your dog’s eyes move up and down.
The final set of potential causes of Strabismus in dogs may be from trauma, cancer of your dog’s brain or the nerves to their eyes, or from scarring of the extra-ocular muscles.
The extra-ocular muscles in your dog are made up of six muscles that control the movement of your dog’s eyes.
These play a critical role in your dog’s eyes ability to follow movement and then focus on that movement.
If scaring occurs from any type of an inflammation, the result may be is a series of abnormal eye movements.
Strabismus in dogs is much more than just your dog going cross-eyed.
It can be the first signal that you have that there is something seriously wrong with your pet and once you do see the initial symptoms, you need to treat them very seriously.