September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Pet Pain1

While we are different species, we all process and feel pain similarly. As advances in modern medicine have increased our lifespan, our animal family members are also reaping the benefits of advances in modern veterinary medicine. More of our beloved pets are undergoing elective surgical procedures to treat a variety of disease processes, from a torn cruciate ligament to extractions of infected teeth.

Pain management has become an important specialty area in veterinary medicine just as it has in human medicine. You want the best for your family members and that includes top-of-the-line treatments for pain management.

Because their pain is our pain

It was once thought that animals did not experience pain in the same way people do. But research supports that if a procedure is thought to be painful to us, it will also be painful to our furry friends as well, even though they may go to great lengths to hide it from us. So proper pain management must be offered to all of our patients.

What you can do

  1. Ask our veterinary team about the customized steps we will take to manage your pet’s pain.
  2. Talk to our veterinary team about common signs of osteoarthritis pain in senior pets, such as reluctance to go up or down stairs, being slow to rise after sleeping and loss of interest in playing, running or jumping.
  3. Request a pain consultation for your pet. Lange Animal Clinic veterinarians offer tailored pain management protocols for patients at risk for chronic pain such as osteoarthritis.
  4. Ask about rehabilitation options and other steps to manage any chronic pain your pet experiences.

Pain management is an important aspect of any surgical or medical procedure.  Together with our veterinary team, you can make your pets as comfortable as possible in the postoperative period or into their senior years.


For over 45 years, Lange Animal Clinic has provided veterinary services in Pekin, IL and the surrounding areas for over three family generations. Our expert staff of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Assistants are trained to ensure the best quality medical care for your beloved pets-whether it be as a routine medical examination to more complicated surgical procedures. We are a small companion animal clinic providing services for dogs, cats, and exotic pets.

Dr. Colleen O’Rourke, owner and senior Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, takes great pride in making certain that every patient’s experience is handled with the utmost care, compassion, and economically in the best interests of our clients. Visit us at www.langeanimal.com.  

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Ear Infections in Dogs- Causes and Treatments

EarInfection-ImgC

How common are ear infections in dogs?

Infection of the external ear canal (outer ear infection) is called otitis externa and is one of the most common types of infections seen in dogs. Some breeds, particularly those with large, floppy or hairy ears like Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles or Old English Sheepdogs, appear to be more prone to ear infections, but ear infections may occur in any breed.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

Ear infections are painful. Many dogs will shake their head and scratch their ears trying to relieve the discomfort. The ears often become red and inflamed and develop an offensive odor. A black or yellowish discharge commonly occurs. In chronic cases the ears may appear crusty or thickened and the ear canals often become narrowed (stenotic) due to the chronic inflammation.

Don’t these symptoms usually indicate ear mites?

Ear mites can cause several of these symptoms, including a black discharge, scratching, and head shaking. However, ear mite infections are more common in puppies and kittens. Adult dogs may occasionally contract ear mites from puppies or cats that are infected. Ear mites create an environment within the ear canal that often leads to a secondary bacterial or yeast (fungal) infection.

Since these symptoms are similar and usually mean an infection, why can’t I just get some ear medication?

There are several kinds of bacteria and at least one type of fungus that commonly cause ear infections. Without knowing EarInfection-ImgAthe specific kind of infection present, we do not know which medication to use. In some cases, the problem is a foreign body, a polyp or a tumor. Treatment with medication alone will not resolve these problems. It is important that your dog be examined to ensure that the eardrum is intact. Administration of certain medications can result in loss of hearing if the eardrum is ruptured. This can only be detected by a thorough ear examination by your veterinarian.

How do you know which drug to use?

First, the ear canal is examined with an otoscope, an instrument that provides magnification and light. This examination allows your veterinarian to determine whether the eardrum is intact and if there is any foreign material in the canal. When a dog is in extreme pain and refuses to allow the examination, it may be necessary to sedate or anesthetize the dog for a thorough examination.

The next step is to examine a sample of the material from the ear canal under a microscope to determine the type of organism causing the infection. Microscopic examination is important in helping the veterinarian choose the right medication to treat the inflamed ear canal. Culture and sensitivity tests are often used in severe or chronic ear infections.

How are ear infections treated?

The results of the otoscopic and microscopic examination usually determine the diagnosis and course of treatment. If there is a foreign body, wax plug or parasite lodged in the ear canal, it will be removed. Some dogs must be sedated for this, or to allow a thorough ear flushing and cleaning. Microscopic study of debris from the ear canal helps determine which drug to use. Many dogs will have more than one type of infection present (e.g., a bacterium and a fungus, or two kinds of bacteria). This situation usually requires the use of multiple medications or a broad-spectrum medication.

“Many dogs with chronic or recurrent ear infections have allergies or
low thyroid function (hypothyroidism).”

An important part of the evaluation of the patient is the identification of underlying disease. Many dogs with chronic or recurrent ear infections have allergies or low thyroid function (hypothyroidism). If underlying disease is suspected, it must be diagnosed and treated or the pet will continue to experience chronic ear problems.

What is the prognosis?

Nearly all ear infections that are properly diagnosed and treated can be successfully managed. However, if an underlying cause remains unidentified and untreated, the outcome will be less favorable. Several recheck examinations may be needed before the outcome is successful.

How important is it to treat an ear infection?

Dogs with ear infections are uncomfortable. Their ears are a source of constant pain and they frequently scratch them and shake their head. This can cause a condition called an “aural hematoma”, in which blood vessels in the ear flap break, causing a painful swelling that requires surgical treatment. Deep ear infections can damage or rupture the eardrum, causing an internal ear infection and even permanent hearing loss.

My dog’s ear canal is nearly closed. Is that a problem?

Closing of the ear canal is another result of a chronic ear infection. This is known as hyperplasia or stenosis If the ear canal is swollen, it is difficult or impossible for medications to penetrate into the horizontal canal. Anti-inflammatory medications can sometimes shrink the swollen tissues and open the canal in some dogs. Most cases of hyperplasia will eventually require surgery.

What is the goal of ear canal surgery?

There are several surgical procedures that are used to treat this problem. The most commonly performed surgery is called a lateral ear resection. The goal of the surgery is to remove the vertical part of the ear canal and to eliminate the swollen tissue from the horizontal canal. It is relatively easy to remove the vertical canal, but removal of large amounts of tissue from the horizontal canal is more difficult. In some cases, it is necessary to remove the entire ear canal (total ear ablation), which may result in permanent impairment of hearing.

Is there anything I need to know about administering medication in the ear?

It is important to get the medication into the horizontal part of the ear canal. Unlike our ear canal, the dog’s external ear canal is “L” shaped. The vertical canal connects with the outside of the ear and is the upper part of the “L”. The horizontal canal lies deeper in the canal and terminates at the eardrum. Our goal is to administer the medication into the lower part of the “L” – the horizontal ear canal.

The ear canal may be medicated by following these steps:

  1. EarInfection-ImgB1Gently pull the earflap straight up and slightly toward the back and hold it with one hand.
  2. Using the other hand, apply a small amount of medication into the vertical part of the ear canal while continuing to keep the earflap elevated. Hold the ear up long enough for the medication to run down to the turn between the vertical and horizontal canal.
  3. Put one finger in front of and at the base of the earflap, and put your thumb behind and at the base.
  4. Massage the ear canal between your fingers and thumb. A “squishing” sound tells you that the medication has gone into the horizontal canal.
  5. Release the ear and let your dog shake its head. Many medications will contain a wax solvent and you may observe debris dissolved in this solvent leaving the ear as your dog shakes its head.

If a second medication is to be used, apply it in the same manner. Typically, you should wait 5-30 minutes before applying additional medications. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for specific directions regarding any ear medication or cleansing agents.

“Do not use cotton tipped applicators to do this, as they tend to push
debris back into the vertical ear canal.”

When all medications have been applied, clean the outer part of the ear canal and the inside of the earflap with a cotton ball soaked in some of the medication. Do not use cotton tipped applicators to do this, as they tend to push debris back into the vertical ear canal.


For over 45 years, Lange Animal Clinic has provided veterinary services in Pekin, IL and the surrounding areas for over three family generations. Our expert staff of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Assistants are trained to ensure the best quality medical care for your beloved pets-whether it be as a routine medical examination to more complicated surgical procedures. We are a small companion animal clinic providing services for dogs, cats, and exotic pets.

Dr. Colleen O’Rourke, owner and senior Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, takes great pride in making certain that every patient’s experience is handled with the utmost care, compassion, and economically in the best interests of our clients. Visit us at www.langeanimal.com.  

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Dental Cleanings for Cats and Dogs- Importance and Benefits

Professional dental cleaning performed by a Lange Animal Clinic Veterinarian is often indicated when periodontal disease is present.  Our own teeth are scaled by a dentist or hygienist – we sit in the chair and open our mouth when requested, letting the professional do their work. While the principles of good oral hygiene and dental health are the same for dogs and cats as for people, there are some significant differences. Humans understand why the procedure is important, and we typically do not need sedation or restraint. Neither is true for our pets.

Here are some very interesting statistics and facts:

  • Eighty-five percent of all pets have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years of age.
  • Dental disease can result in bad breath, painful chewing, and tooth loss.
  • Bacteria under the gum can travel to the heart, kidneys, and liver.
  • A professional dental cleaning is required to remove plaque and tartar from a pet’s teeth and to assess the health of the mouth.
  • A thorough dental cleaning requires that the pet be under anesthesia.
  • Regular at-home dental care can help improve the health of your pet’s mouth and lengthen the intervals between professional dental cleanings.

Another important difference between human and veterinary dental practice is that we tell the dentist when there is discomfort; to ensure that nothing is missed in dogs or cats, our patients require a thorough oral examination as part of a dental scaling procedure. Additionally, bloodwork is required in advance of a dental cleaning to ensure your pet is not experiencing any other health concerns.  Occasionally, a Lange Animal Clinic Veterinarian may recommend dental radiographs as well.

Dental


Every professional dental cleaning starts with a review of the patient’s general health and any previous dental history. For a thorough, safe dental cleaning in veterinary patients, anesthesia is essential, as this permits a comprehensive assessment of the tissues, allows dental radiographs to be made when indicated, keeps the pet immobile during the process, and eliminates pain or discomfort- followed by the cleaning (scaling and polishing procedure) itself above and below the gum-line. “Non-anesthetic or Anesthesia-free dental scaling” is not recommended by American Veterinary Dental Council (AVDC).

Depending on the overall health of the teeth, there may need to be tooth extractions for those where periodontal disease have severely damaged them.  This process is performed during the cleaning and we do our best to communicate this to our clients in advance of the dental cleaning procedure.  However, once we are actually able to get under the gum line we may, from time to time, discover the roots of a tooth is damaged to the point it should be removed.

Overall, dental cleaning for dogs and cats is a very important treatment that should be performed.  Your pet will feel better afterwards and the quality of life will be improved.


For over 45 years, Lange Animal Clinic has provided veterinary services in Pekin, IL and the surrounding areas for over three family generations. Our expert staff of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Assistants are trained to ensure the best quality medical care for your beloved pets-whether it be as a routine medical examination to more complicated surgical procedures. We are a small companion animal clinic providing services for dogs, cats, and exotic pets.

Dr. Colleen O’Rourke, owner and senior Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, takes great pride in making certain that every patient’s experience is handled with the utmost care, compassion, and economically in the best interests of our clients. Visit us at www.langeanimal.com.  

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Traveling With Your Dog or Cat

Cat n dog travel2

When considering interstate or international travel for your dog or cat, plan ahead because some preparations may need to start six months or more in advance.  Below are some valuable resources for when travelling domestically and internationally with your pets.  Additionally, we provide great safety tips for when travelling with your pets by car.

1).  Schedule an appointment with a Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian for your pet’s exam

Animals should be healthy enough to travel, and depending on the regulations of your destination, there may be additional animal health prerequisites, such as identification, vaccinations, tests, certifications, etc.

2).  Share information with one of our Veterinarians

The destination authorities (consulate or embassy of the country, state or territory animal health department, etc.) may have sent you specific information or forms that need to be shared with or signed by one of our veterinarians.  A Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian may need to make copies of the materials to assist in the CVI process or for recordkeeping purposes

3).  Know the requirements and restrictions for transporting dogs and cats

Countries, territories, states, and even public modes of transportation have requirements and restrictions on transporting animals. The regulations help protect people, animals, and ecosystems by guarding against the spread of dangerous diseases, pests, and invasive and injurious animals. Most likely, a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) will be required by the authorities at destination. It is your responsibility to get this information from the authorities of your destination well in advance of travel so that you can plan accordingly, including considering alternatives to transporting the animal(s).

Be aware that some countries and states may require your pet to be placed in quarantined upon arrival (e.g., according to Hawaii’s law for dogs and cats, quarantine may be up to 120 days).

The chart below will help you find the rules and regulations that impact you and your pet. In addition, the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association may be able to assist you with your pet’s international travel.

​​What type of travel? Where to find requirements and restrictions?
​By public air, rail, bus, or boat ​Check with the carrier line that you will be using. Special rules may apply to dogs that qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as service animals.
​Interstate (travel across state or territory borders within the U.S.) ​Find the requirements of your destination location and the contact information of the animal health authority on the USDA’s webpage, State Regulations for Importing Animals.
​International travel from the U.S. (exporting) ​Contact the consulate or embassy of the country of destination or the country’s animal health authority for information on the importation requirements.

AND

Check the USDA’s Animal and Animal Product Export Information, including if an import permit is required and if a designated port needs to be used.

​International travel into the U.S. (importing) ​The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)has regulations on the importation of dogs and cats into the U.S.

AND

The USDA also has certain import restrictions on dogs, and a two page factsheet on importing live dogs is available for free download.

AND

Check for the import requirements for the state of destination on the USDA’s webpage, State Regulations for Importing Animals.

Also, here are some great resources from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA):

Here are some safety tips when travelling in the car with your furry ones:

Dogs shouldn’t roam in the car

The safest way for your dog to travel in the car is in a crate that has been anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car and being a distraction to the driver, but they haven’t been reliably shown to protect dogs during a crash.

Cats belong in carriers

Most cats aren’t comfortable traveling in cars, so for their safety as well as yours, keep them in a carrier. It’s important to restrain these carriers in the car so that they don’t bounce around and hurt your cat. Do this by securing a seat belt around the front of the carrier.

Leave the front seat for humans

Keep your pet in the back seat of the car. If an airbag deploys while your pet is in the passenger seat (even in a crate), it might injure your pet.

Keep those heads inside!

Dogs and cats should always be kept safely inside the car. Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by particles of debris or made sick by having cold air forced into their lungs. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck.

Give your pet plenty of rest stops

Stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise and eliminate. But never permit your pet to leave the car without a collar, ID tag and leash.

Bring along a human buddy

Whenever possible, share the driving and pet caretaking duties with a friend or family member. You’ll be able to get food or use the facilities at rest stops knowing that someone you trust is keeping a close eye on your pets.

Don’t ever leave your pet alone in a car

A quick pit stop may feel like no time at all to you, but it’s too long to leave your pet in a car by himself. One hazard is heat: When it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees within an hour. On an 85-degree day, even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside your car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. If you’re held up for 30 minutes, you may return to a car that’s 120 degrees inside and a pet who is suffering irreversible organ damage or death.

For more information about travelling with your pets or for help answering any additional questions that you may have, please contact a Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian.


For over 45 years, Lange Animal Clinic has provided veterinary services in Pekin, IL and the surrounding areas for over three family generations. Our expert staff of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Assistants are trained to ensure the best quality medical care for your beloved pets-whether it be as a routine medical examination to more complicated surgical procedures. We are a small companion animal clinic providing services for dogs, cats, and exotic pets.

Dr. Colleen O’Rourke, owner and senior Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, takes great pride in making certain that every patient’s experience is handled with the utmost care, compassion, and economically in the best interests of our clients. Visit us at www.langeanimal.com.  

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National Pet Appreciation Week- June 7th – June 13th

PetAppreciationWeek

Pet appreciation week is a time to celebrate how much our pets mean to us.

Our pets do a lot more for us than provide unconditional love, they help us relieve stress and encourage us to exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pets can decrease your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol and increase your opportunities for socialization.

To learn more about the health benefits of pet ownership, please contact a Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian.

Here are just a few ideas on how to celebrate this week. This is our chance to encourage our pets to exercise, help them relieve some of their stress, and keep them healthy.

Ideas for Dog Owners

  • Add an extra ten minutes to one of your daily walks
  • Learn to give your dog a massage to reduce his stress
  • Visit the dog park
  • Bake homemade dog biscuits with all of his favorite flavors baked in
  • Make sure his or her license, vaccinations and microchip records are up to date

Ideas for Cat Owners

  • Play laser beam for a few minutes of exercise each day
  • Play him a DVD made especially for cats
  • Gently brush your cat or use a massaging grooming glove for a few minutes each day
  • Plant some cat grass near one of his favorite hideouts
  • Make sure his or her license, vaccinations, and microchip records are up to date

Enjoy the beautiful weather with a nice long stroll with your dogs and celebrate the love your pet and you mutually have for each other!


For over 45 years, Lange Animal Clinic has provided veterinary services in Pekin, IL and the surrounding areas for over three family generations. Our expert staff of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Assistants are trained to ensure the best quality medical care for your beloved pets-whether it be as a routine medical examination to more complicated surgical procedures. We are a small companion animal clinic providing services for dogs, cats, and exotic pets.

Dr. Colleen O’Rourke, owner and senior Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, takes great pride in making certain that every patient’s experience is handled with the utmost care, compassion, and economically in the best interests of our clients. Visit us at www.langeanimal.com.  

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National Dog Bite Prevention Week- May 17th – 23rd

DBPW

In honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week from May 17 to May 23, Lange Animal Clinic in Pekin, IL and the ASPCA are helping pet owners and those who come in contact with dogs stay safe by offering helpful reminders and warning signs.  The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says regardless of breed, all dogs can bite. Pit bull breeds are most commonly named, but the most frequent breeds associated with serious bite injuries also include German Shepherds, Jack Russell Terriers, Rottweilers, Labradors, Collies, Spaniels, and more.

More than four million people are bitten by dogs each year despite the fact that these incidents are very preventable.  Dogs may show signs that they are stressed or anxious if they yawn, put their ears back, stiffen and stare at you, change body language quickly, growl or otherwise act out of the ordinary.

How do you avoid getting bit by a dog? Start by being polite and respecting the dog’s personal space. Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially one who’s tied or confined behind a fence or in a car. Don’t pet a dog—even your own—without letting him see and sniff you first.

Don’t disturb a dog while she’s sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy or caring for puppies. Be cautious around strange dogs. Always assume that a dog who doesn’t know you may see you as an intruder or a threat.

Pay attention to the dog’s body language

Put a safe amount of space between yourself and a dog if you see the following signals indicating that the dog is uncomfortable and might feel the need to bite:

  • tensed body
  • stiff tail
  • pulled back head and/or ears
  • furrowed brow
  • eyes rolled so the whites are visible
  • yawning
  • flicking tongue
  • intense stare
  • backing away

Teach Your Children to Interact with Dogs Correctly

Even if you trust your pet, more than 70 percent of dog bites happen at home. Your family pet may not mean to harm you, but often times children don’t know how to approach a dog or know when to stop bothering them.   When a child is very outgoing, they forget that the animal may not want to be approached at certain times, and that it may react because it’s startled or protecting its food. The good news is, kids can learn the right way to interact with animals.

The ASPCA says some things to remember when dealing with children around pets are:

  • Always supervise children around pets, even if that pet belongs to you
  • Never surprise or scare a dog who is sleeping, eating or not expecting you
  • Never take food, toys or bones away from a dog
  • Do not let your child approach, touch or hug a dog that does not belong to them unless the owner gives permission

What to do if you think a dog may attack

If you are approached by a dog who may attack you, follow these steps:

  • Resist the impulse to scream and run away. When putting space between yourself and a dog who might bite, never turn your back on him and run away. A dog’s natural instinct will be to chase you.
  • Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
  • Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight.
  • If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, purse, bicycle or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.

What to do if you’re bitten by a dog

If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, try not to panic.

  • Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Contact your physician for additional care and advice.
  • Report the bite to your local animal care and control agency. Tell the animal control official everything you know about the dog, including his owner’s name and the address where he lives. If the dog is a stray, tell the animal control official what the dog looks like, where you saw him, whether you’ve seen him before and in which direction he went.

Safety and proper interaction with dogs can prevent bites from occurring.  To learn more, speak with a Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian.


For over 45 years, Lange Animal Clinic has provided veterinary services in Pekin, IL and the surrounding areas for over three family generations. Our expert staff of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Assistants are trained to ensure the best quality medical care for your beloved pets-whether it be as a routine medical examination to more complicated surgical procedures. We are a small companion animal clinic providing services for dogs, cats, and exotic pets.

Dr. Colleen O’Rourke, owner and senior Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, takes great pride in making certain that every patient’s experience is handled with the utmost care, compassion, and economically in the best interests of our clients. Visit us at www.langeanimal.com.  

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Eye Care for Your Dogs from the Comfort of Your Home

Dog Eyes
Almost daily, associates at Lange Animal Clinic in Pekin, IL receives a call about canine eye problems; and the diversity of concern expressed by the dog’s owner runs a wide spectrum.  There are times when our veterinarians will check a frantic and anxious owner’s dog only to discover an insignificant soreness in the dog’s supporting tissues around the eye (called conjunctiva).  Alternatively, our veterinarians may discover more severe eye problems such as an advanced corneal ulcer that has allowed internal contents of the eye to actually protrude through the corneal surface.  Veterinarians at Lange Animal Clinic strongly encourage owners to give your dog(s) regular home eye exams which will help keep you alert to any tearing, cloudiness or inflammation that may indicate a health problem.

There are some methods that you as a dog owner can follow to perform regular checks of the health of your dog’s eyes.  These methods that follow may be performed every 6 months- as recommended by Lange Animal Clinic veterinarians:

Look closely and directly at your canine’s eyes

Face your dog in a brightly lit area and look into his eyes. They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. Your dog’s pupils should be equal in size and there should not be any tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of the eyes.

Lower eyelid check

With your thumb, gently roll down your dog’s lower eyelid and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white.

Keep your eyes on your dog’s eyes (watch for signs/symptoms)

The following are signs that something may be wrong with one or both of your dog’s eyes:

  • Discharge & crusty gunk
  • Tearing
  • Red or white eyelid linings
  • Tear-stained fur
  • Closed eye(s)
  • Cloudiness or change in eye color
  • Visible third eyelid
  • Unequal pupil sizes

A gentle cleaning

A gentle wipe with a damp cotton ball will help to keep your pooch’s eyes gunk-free. Wipe outward from the corner of the eye and be careful not to touch the eyeballs.  Touching the eyeballs puts you at risk of scratching the cornea. If your dog constantly suffers from runny eyes and discharge, please contact a Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian. In that case, it is possible that your dog may have an infection.

Trim and groom any fur near the eyes 

Long-haired breeds can get eye damage if the fur surrounding or near the eyes aren’t properly tamed. Using scissors with rounded tips, carefully trim the hair around your dog’s eyes to keep vision clear and prevent hairs from poking and scratching.

Pain-free grooming & maintenance

Shampoos and topical medications may be major irritants to a dog’s eyes. Make certain to protect your dog’s eyes before bathing, applying ointments or administering flea-control formulas.

Driving your pooch around with the windows open

Most dogs enjoy the open road and the wind blowing through their fur.  However, if debris or an insect touches your dog’s eye, it may cause pain & suffering and possibly a long-lasting injury. It’s much safer to drive with the windows only partially down and your dog’s head stay inside the vehicle. The wind can also dry out your dog’s eyes, possibly causing irritation and infection.

Specific dog breeds are more inclined to experience eye problems

Do some research to find out if your dog’s breed is predisposed toward any eye conditions- such as glaucoma or progressive retinal atrophy. Of course, your pet should have his eyes checked by following through on annual wellness exams, but knowing about possible inherited problems will help you take important precautions.

Behavioral signs of possible eye problems

Pay attention to your dog’s body language—pawing or rubbing the eye area may alert you to possible problems.

Learn a bit about the different types of common eye problems in dogs

The following eye-related disorders are commonly seen in dogs:

Conjunctivitis: One or both of your dog’s eyes will look red and swollen, and there may be discharge.
Dry Eye: Diminished tear production can cause corneal inflammation, squinting and discharge.
Cherry Eye: An enlarged tear gland forms a cherry-like mass on the dog’s eye.
Epiphora: An overflow of tears creates stains on the dog’s facial fur.
Glaucoma: The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
Ectropion: A turning outward of the upper eyelid causes the lower lid to droop.
Entropion: A rolling in of the eyelid causes discharge and tearing.
Cataract: An opacity on the lens of the eye can cause impaired vision and possible blindness.
Progressive Renal Atrophy: Caused by degeneration of retinal tissue—night blindness is often its first sign.

Of course, if you are unsure or not comfortable performing the above eye checks than we can certainly perform them for your dog or even demonstrate how to perform them for you.  If that is something you are interested in, contact your Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian at 309-347-4679 to setup an appointment.


For over 45 years, Lange Animal Clinic has provided veterinary services in Pekin, IL and the surrounding areas for over three family generations. Our expert staff of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Assistants are trained to ensure the best quality medical care for your beloved pets-whether it be as a routine medical examination to more complicated surgical procedures. We are a small companion animal clinic providing services for dogs, cats, and exotic pets.

Dr. Colleen O’Rourke, owner and senior Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, takes great pride in making certain that every patient’s experience is handled with the utmost care, compassion, and economically in the best interests of our clients. Visit us at www.langeanimal.com.  

About Us 
Our Services
Setup an Appointment