Fluorescein Stain Test For Dogs – What, How, Why & Cost

As a holistic veterinarian specializing in natural nutrition and holistic healing, I am passionate about helping dogs live the healthiest and happiest lives. Today I want to talk to you about a simple and effective way to evaluate your furry friend’s eye health: the fluorescein stain test. This test is commonly used in the diagnosis of most eye conditions including pannus and dry eye.

Your dog’s eyes are very important, and we want to protect your dog’s lifelong vision. Eye testing is essential to make sure they’re comfortable and have good vision. And when it comes to ocular health, fluorescein stain testing is one of the most useful tools we have.

flouroscene eye stain

What is Fluorescein staining in dogs?

Fluorescein stain testing is a diagnostic test that uses a special dye to see if there are any problems with the cornea. If there are, the dye will be bright green under a blue light, which can help the doctor diagnose the problem.

How is Fluorescein Staining Performed? 

The test is safe for dogs and takes only a few minutes to perform. By examining the cornea under the blue light, we can detect any areas where the dye has stuck, indicating the presence of a corneal ulcer or abrasion. These can cause symptoms such as redness, discharge, and squinting, but they may not always be visible to the naked eye. That’s why fluorescein stain testing is such a valuable tool for assessing eye health.

fluorescein eye stain test dogs

Why Are Fluorescein Eye Stain Tests Done For Dogs?

When is fluorescein stain testing needed for a dog? If your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is a good idea to bring them in for an eye exam. Even if their eyes seem perfectly healthy, regular eye exams are important to catch any problems early on.

Fluorescein dye procedures also help the veterinarian prescribe the correct medication for your dog’s eye issue. If the wrong eye drop is used, it could make the condition worse. 

What Happens if The Fluorescein Test is Positive?

If a corneal ulcer or abrasion is detected with fluorescein stain testing, don’t be alarmed. There are a variety of treatments available, such as eye drops, ointments, and more depending on the severity of your dog’s injury. Your local vet will work with you to create a treatment plan that is tailored to your dog’s individual needs.

“I always remind my clients that ocular issues develop very quickly, but when treated correctly…they also heal very quickly. It’s common for eye issues to pop up “overnight”. Follow the medical instructions from your vet as closely as possible. If this means applying eye drops three times a day, or at night- do it. We want to correct your dog’s eye disorder as quickly as possible to avoid scar tissue and loss of vision.”

Dr. Candy
What is an eye stain test for dogs

Dog Eye Stain Test Cost

A basic dog fluorescein eye stain test costs around $30 – 50 in general veterinary practice. Online stain tests may be unreliable due to unknown production and storage methods, so I’m cautious about recommending them. And since we are dealing with your dog’s vision- we want to be as clean and sterile as possible.

Home Care After Testing

There are some other things you can do at home to help keep their eyes healthy. Cleaning their eyes regularly and removing any irritants can help keep them from developing future eye problems. This includes the actual drops and ointments that the vet recommends. If you accidentally apply a large amount simply clean up the excess residue. Leaving this or letting it build up can damage your dog’s eye lids, skin or hair

At the end of the day, its easy to address your dog’s eye conditions and we are here to help keep your furry friend healthy and happy. Reach out to your local vet if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s eye health. They will be able to steer you in the right direction. If you and your pet are facing a chronic eye issue and want some help with a holistic approach, grab a holistic online consult with me.

Dr. Candy Akers, DVM

Holistic Veterinarian, Veterinary Clinic Owner, Veterinary Medical Supervisory Board Leader, Certified Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialist, and Author Dr. Candy completed her undergraduate studies at The University of Delaware and graduated veterinary school in 2009 from Oklahoma State University. In high school, she was drawn to wildlife rehabilitation. Wildlife rehab gave her unparalleled experience in animal healing in a field that has limited resources and a wide variety of conditions to treat. Before vet school, Dr. Akers spent two years working full time providing oil spill response for wildlife all over the country. Since graduating with her Degree of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 2009, Dr. Candy has specialized in companion animal nutrition. Extensive education in nutrition has made her a firm believer in species specific-biologically appropriate diets. One of her passions is educating pet parents about the natural alternatives that actually work. She brings the best of holistic health and conventional medicine together in a unique approach to pet health. This approach is often applied to chronic diseases, allergies, and autoimmune conditions. She started her own veterinary practice 9 years ago in Colorado. Overall, she has dedicated her entire life to improving the health and happiness of animals everywhere.

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