Horner’s Syndrome in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

(Photo credit: Westend61/Getty Images)

Horner’s syndrome in dogs, also sometimes called droopy eye, is the name given to a neurological problem which typically affects a dog’s eyes and facial muscles. It can produce a variety of symptoms, including droopy eyes and eyes that appear to have shrunk.

The condition can often result from brain or spinal cord damage. However, in many cases, the precise cause remains unknown; although it seems to affect male Golden Retrievers and Collies much more than other breeds.

If you see signs of a neurological disorder in your dog, then you need to go to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and advice. Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for Horner’s syndrome in dogs.

Symptoms of Horner’s Syndrome in Dogs

Symptoms of Horner’s syndrome in dogs can usually be noticed by looking at a dog’s eyes and facial muscles.

Some most common symptoms to understand:

  • Drooping upper eyelids
  • Appearance of a third eyelid
  • Pupils seem smaller than usual
  • Inflammation of the ear
  • Eyes appear narrowed

Causes of Horner’s Syndrome in Dogs

Veterinarians check health of golden retriever dog.  A veterinarian with a stethoscope on his neck carries a Golden Retriever dog.  Eye examination.

(Photo credit: Thirawatana Phaisalratana/Getty Images)

The cause of Horner’s syndrome in dogs is sometimes related to a recent injury to the brain or spine. Infections can also cause this syndrome. But many cases are considered idiopathic, meaning the precise cause remains unknown.

While all dog breeds can develop the disease, male Golden Retrievers and Collies seem to have the highest risk of suffering from it.

Veterinary treatments

If you are concerned that your dog is developing Horner’s Syndrome, your veterinarian will want to perform a physical exam on your dog and collect blood and urine samples.

Your veterinarian will ask detailed questions about your dog’s recent history to try to determine if he has suffered any trauma or injuries that may have caused the disease.

In most cases, veterinarians will use radiographic techniques such as MRIs and X-rays to make a diagnosis.

Treatment usually focuses on targeting the underlying cause of the disease. If there is an infection, a veterinarian will prescribe medication or antibiotics.

As always, if your veterinarian prescribes medication for your dog, it is essential that you follow the precise dosage and administration instructions and complete all treatment.

In many cases, veterinarians will recommend eye medication and lubricants as a way to help relieve any immediate eye pain or issues your dog is experiencing.

Has your dog developed Horner’s Syndrome? What treatment did your vet recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments are closed.