Dog Disease - Horner Syndrome


Horner syndrome is a disease which results to the damage of nerves and results in facial changes on one side. This specially occurs when sympathetic nerves lose their stimulation. Horner’s syndrome is more common in Golden Retrievers. This dog disease may be caused by some injury to the nerves. In dogs, the most common causes of this dog disease include:
  • After effect of treatment or medication
  • Bite wounds
  • Brain or chest cancer
  • Car accidents which cause trauma to the head, neck, or chest
  • Disease of the orbit
  • Idiopathic
  • Infections in the middle ear
  • Intervertebral (IV) disc disease in the neck area

Symptoms of Horner Syndrome
The common signs of Horner Syndrome include:
  • Narrowing of pupils
  • Mild drooping of the upper eyelid
  • Sunken eyes
  • Projection of the third eyelid
  • Dilated blood vessels on the affected area which make the area warm.

Diagnosis of Horner’s Syndrome
This dog disease is diagnosed by the symptoms mentioned above. However, it is difficult to diagnose the main cause of the condition. This cause can be detected by:
  • Physical and neurologic examination
  • Radiographs (x-rays)
  • Chemistry panel
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • CAT scan
  • MRI
  • Injection of epinephrine in the eye

Treatment of Horner’s Syndrome
This dog disease does not cause pain. However, it is important to realize that there is no treatment for the changes in the eye, but if the damage is mild then it would heal on its own, and the appearance of the dog will be normalized. Normally this problem in dog becomes fine with in three months or so, but eye surfaces must be lubricated. Apart from this phenylephrine eye drops are injected depending upon the location of the injury.