inflammation of the eyelids
What is it?
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid margins. The inflammation may be “sterile” or due to a bacterial infection, auto-immune skin disease or parasitic infestation of the eyelids.
What causes it?
Most often, blepharitis is caused by a bacterial infection with a species of Staphylococcus or Streptococcus.
What are the symptoms?
The eyelids are red and swollen, and the lid margins are usually encrusted with pus discharge. The eyelids are often itchy, so the dog will paw at the eyes. Excessive blinking and sensitivity to light are also evident. Blepharitis is nearly always accompanied by conjunctivitis.
Who is susceptible to it?
Dogs and cats of any age or breed can get Blepharitis.
How is it diagnosed?
Usually, blepharitis can be diagnosed by a simple exam, although skin scrapings, cultures, and biopsies may be required for an accurate diagnosis.
How is it treated?
An oral antibiotic with a spectrum effective against Staph and Strep bacterial is typically prescribed. In many cases, part of the eyelid inflammation is caused by hypersensitivity to bacterial toxins, necessitating concurrent treatment with low doses of oral steroids. Cytology (cell analysis), or culture and susceptibility testing of the eyelid margins may be recommended should the blepharitis not respond to conventional therapy.