Retrobulbar disease means any disease process that is occurring behind the eye.

The clinical signs of these are:

1. Prominent eye
2. Prolapse of the third eyelid
3. Corneal ulcer
4. Pain on opening the mouth
5. Blindness

There are many causes of retrobulbar disease such as:

1. Tumour behind the eye
2. Infection - abscess behind the eye (often related to bad teeth or a foreign body)
3. Salivary gland cyst behind the eye
4. Haemorrhage behind the eye
5. Inflammation behind the eye

It is very difficult to diagnose the cause of the problem just by examining your dog/cat in the consult room and special tests are required to help us determine the cause of the prominent eye. On occasion a combination of tests are required.

1. Ultrasound examination with either Fine needle aspirate or biopsy
2. Xrays of the skull
3. CT Scan
4. MRI Scanning

5. Exploratory Surgery

These tests can be expensive, but without them it is usually very difficult to diagnose the problem. Once we know the exact diagnosis then a treatment plan can be formulated.

When the eye is prominent there is a risk that the cornea could dry out. If this occurs a corneal ulcer could develop. To prevent this a short general anaesthetic is required to close the eyelids together and keep the cornea lubricated.

*Newsletter on Retrobulbar Disease*