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Byline: with Rory Thomson

Q: My seven-year-old Jack Russell is constantly scratching at his eyes and making them bleed. He's been on Piriton from the vets and been wearing a cone since June. He's still no better, as soon as we take the cone off he's straight back to his eyes to the point he can't even open them because he has them so sore! I'd love to get answers for him as he seems so down all the time.

MELISSA ILEY, Blyth A: It is difficult to determine what the cause of the eye discomfort is without seeing the dog, so I would recommend taking him back to the vets to reassess. The following things are what I would be looking for: 1. Eyelid abnormalities - Some dogs have extra hairs growing into the eyes or a rolling of an eyelid into the eye, which causes irritation.

2. Foreign bodies - Something could be in the eye, possibly hiding under the third eyelid and could be a source of chronic irritation.

3. Tear function - some dogs get a decrease in tear function as they get older and as the eyes dry up they become more irritated.

4. Ulceration - a dye can be used to see if there are any scratches on the surface of the eye causing the irritation.

5. Lens luxation - Jack Russell dogs are very prone to their lens moving within the eye, and this can cause a form of glaucoma, which is very painful.

6. Parasites - There are sometimes mites around the eyes causing irritation and secondary infections.

7. Allergies - The absence of any of the above would increase my suspicion to an underlying allergy.

Once a cause has been determined, further investigations and treatments can be directed to make the eyes more comfortable and enable the cone to be removed.

|Please note that advice in this section is for general guidance, and if your pet is very unwell you should contact your veterinary surgeon as soon as possible as this advice does not replace the need for a clinical examination of your pet.

| Rory Thomson is part of the team at St Clair Veterinary Care in Croft Road, Blyth. If you have a question, fill out the online form at

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 20, 2017
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