Canine ocular Thelaziosis is the name by which the disease caused by parasitic nematodes of the genus Thelazia is known. Dogs that suffer from this pathology have a kind of white worms moving inside their eyes, a condition that can be contagious even for humans.
Next, we are going to tell you what causes this disease, what symptoms it presents and what is the most appropriate treatment to cure it.
Thelazia or eastern eye worm
As we mentioned in the introduction, canine ocular thelaziosis is a parasitic pathology caused by nematode worms of the genus Thelazia, which are small parasites that are only about 10mm in length and that are housed under the membrane of the animal’s eyelid.
This parasite, also known as the eastern eye worm, is transmitted by the fruit fly that lays eggs in the dog’s eyes. The larvae develop over three weeks within the eye’s conjunctiva.
Its incidence is higher in the summer months and can affect not only dogs and cats but also some other species such as horses, foxes and wolves. In addition, three types of Thelazia also infect humans.
Symptoms and diagnosis of ocular thelaziosis
Increased production of tears, inflammation of the conjunctiva and cornea, excess lizards, blepharospasm or involuntary contraction of the eyelids, keratitis and even ulcers, are some of the symptoms that the affected dog with ocular thelaziosis can present .
Excessive ocular secretion is the highlight of this pathology and the reason why we realize that something has affected the eye health of our pet. However, in certain cases the animal may not present these symptoms.
An unusual activity of flies around the dog can also indicate that there is a problem, since they would be feeding on the animal’s eye secretions.
To make the diagnosis, the veterinarian simply examines the eyes and nearby tissues for worms. Adult parasites are very active, move very quickly and can be observed with the naked eye.
Treatment of canine ocular thelaziosis
If the dog has some of these symptoms, it must be taken as soon as possible to the veterinarian, who will proceed to extract them with a special procedure. To do this, use sterilized tweezers and wash the area with a saline solution.
The treatment includes the application of nematicidal products to eliminate any eggs left in the area. In a few days, the dog’s eye health will have improved markedly.
If canine ocular thelaziosis is not treated in time, the animal may suffer major damage, and may have irreversible deterioration in vision.
Dogs that are found in areas of high vegetation and with the presence of fruit crops are the most likely to suffer from this pathology, so you should have more attention and care in these cases.