Horner Syndrome in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Síndrome de Horner Perros: Causas, Síntomas y Tratamiento

Welcome to Waggys, the place where we explore everything about the health and well-being of our furry friends! Today, we delve into a topic that may sound a bit mysterious but is essential to understand to properly care for our dogs: Horner syndrome. Have you ever noticed that your dog has a droopy eye or a smaller than normal pupil? It could be an indication of this syndrome, a condition that can be disconcerting but manageable with the right information and care. Join us to learn what Horner syndrome in dogs is, what causes it, and how we can help our beloved canine companions overcome it. Go for it!

What is Horner syndrome?

Horner syndrome in dogs is a medical condition that affects the autonomic nervous system of the animal's eyes and face. This condition is usually caused by a disruption in the nerve pathway that controls pupil dilation and other eye movements, and can be caused by trauma, disease, or pressure on the nerve.

What causes Horner syndrome in dogs?

Some of the most common causes of Horner syndrome in dogs include:

    • Trauma: Injuries to the head, neck, or chest that affect the sympathetic nerve can cause Horner syndrome.
    • Disease: Diseases that affect the nervous system, such as neoplasia (tumors), inflammation, or infection, can damage the sympathetic nerve and cause Horner syndrome.
    • Compression: Pressure on the sympathetic nerve due to the presence of tumors, abscesses, or other abnormal structures can disrupt its function and cause Horner syndrome.
    • Idiopathic: In some cases, Horner syndrome can occur without an identifiable cause, known as idiopathic Horner syndrome.
  • Otitis or middle ear infections.
    • Retrobulbar problems: alterations in the area behind the eyeball
    • Encephalitis: inflammation of the brain, which in turn can be due to many causes such as the presence of parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.
    • Peripheral neuropathies: damage to peripheral nerves, that is, outside the brain and spinal cord.

    Symptoms of Horner syndrome in dogs

    Symptoms of Horner syndrome in dogs may include a specific combination of clinical signs that affect the animal's eye and face. These symptoms can vary in severity and may include:

    • Miosis: The pupil of the affected eye appears smaller than normal.
    • Ptosis: The upper eyelid of the affected eye falls lower than usual, giving the appearance of a partially closed eye.
    • Enophthalmos: The eyeball of the affected eye appears to be sunken or retracted into the eye socket.
    • Anhidrosis: Lack of sweating on the affected side of the face.
    • Third eyelid vasodilation: The third eyelid, also known as the nictitating membrane, may appear more prominent than normal due to dilation of blood vessels in the ocular region.

    How is Horner syndrome diagnosed?

    Diagnosing Horner syndrome in dogs usually involves a thorough clinical evaluation by a veterinarian, which may include several steps to identify the underlying cause of the symptoms. Some of the common methods used to diagnose Horner syndrome include:

    • Medical history: The veterinarian can collect detailed information about the symptoms observed, their duration, and any previous traumatic or medical events that may be related.
    • Neurological tests: Neurological tests may be performed to evaluate nerve function and rule out other neurological conditions that may cause similar symptoms.
    • Ophthalmological tests: The veterinarian may perform ophthalmological exams to evaluate eye health and rule out other eye conditions that may be present.
    • Diagnostic imaging: In some cases, x-rays, ultrasounds, computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be performed to evaluate possible underlying causes, such as tumors, abscesses, or other structural abnormalities.
    • Laboratory tests: Blood tests, urine tests, or other laboratory tests may be performed to evaluate organ function and rule out systemic diseases that may be related.

    In case the dog does not like to visit the veterinarian, I recommend that you give him relaxing treats for dogs  from the W aggy's brand because they contain CBD for dogs , which helps a lot to level the stress and anxiety levels in dogs before going to their session, which will be beneficial for everyone. In addition, one of its other ingredients is Omega 3 for dogs, a necessary and essential component for the development of the puppy.

    How to cure Horner syndrome in dogs? Treatment

    Treatment of Horner syndrome in dogs depends on the cause identified during the diagnostic process. In some cases, Horner syndrome may resolve on its own without the need for medical intervention, especially if the cause is temporary or minor. Here are some common treatment options:

    • Medical treatment: If the cause of Horner syndrome is a medical illness or injury, such as an infection, inflammation, or tumor, medical treatment may include medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, or other medications prescribed by a veterinarian.
    • Surgery: In cases of Horner syndrome caused by tumors or other structural abnormalities that put pressure on the sympathetic nerve, surgery may be necessary to remove the tumor or correct the abnormality.
    • Rehabilitation therapy: In some cases, physical or rehabilitation therapy can help improve neurological and ocular function in dogs with Horner syndrome.

    Can Horner syndrome in dogs be avoided?

    Horner syndrome in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which may be preventable while others are not. For example, Horner's syndrome caused by traumatic injuries can be prevented to some extent by taking precautions to avoid accidents and injuries to the dog. However, other potential causes, such as tumors or neurological diseases, may be more difficult to prevent. Keeping your dog healthy through regular visits to the vet, a better dog diet such as the Barf diet , and adequate exercise can help keep his nervous and ocular systems in good condition, which can reduce the risk of some forms of syndrome. Horner.


    Horner syndrome in dogs is a neurological condition that affects the autonomic nervous system, causing a series of symptoms such as ptosis (drooping of the eyelid), miosis (constriction of the pupil), enophthalmos (sinking of the eyeball) and anhidrosis (lack of vision). sweating on one side of the face). It can be caused by various underlying conditions, such as trauma, neoplastic or infectious diseases, among others. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential to address this condition and minimize its effects on the dog's quality of life.

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