Boston Terrier Eye Disease

Picture taken from

Picture taken from

Hi and Welcome Everyone!

This is Sharda with Boston Terrier newsletter!

Today, let’s talk about the Boston Terrier eye disease!


Also called hypoadrenocorticism, it refers to adrenal insufficiency. It gets its name from its inventor Dr. Thomas Addison, who discovered that this disease was due to tuberculosis.

Now that the incidence of tuberculosis has come down, Addison’s Disease is said to be caused due to an auto-immune reaction in the body in which the body’s immune system erroneously produces antibodies against the cells of the adrenal cortex and destroys them.

This disease has symptoms common with those of other ailments, making diagnosis difficult and delayed.

Other causes of Addison’s Disease include fungal infections, invasion of the adrenal by cancer cells from other parts of the body, particularly the breast, CMV virus in association with AIDS, the surgical removal of both adrenals and sometimes, a hemorrhage into the adrenals during shock.


  • Fatigue due to loss of cortisol and aldosterone secretion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Low blood pressure leading to light headedness
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Tremors or shaking due to weakness in the muscles
  • Irritability and depression
  • Craving for salty foods
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Pain in hind quarters


  • Tests for measuring the amount of cortisol and aldosterone in the blood and urine
  • An ACTH Stim test is the only definitive test for diagnosing this disease
  • Skin tests and X-rays
  • Check electrolyte levels


  • Since lack of cortisol and alsosterone form the basis of Addison’s disease, the basic treatment is to replace these with similar steroids
  • Cortisol is usually replaced orally by cortisone acetate or hydrocortisone tablets while aldosterone is replaced by an aldosterone-like synthetic steroid, fludrocortisone (Florinef)
  • In emergencies or during surgery, hydrocortisone is given intravenously
  • Minor illnesses in patients with Addison’s disease should be treated with extra salt and fluids, particular if accompanied by fever, vomiting or diarrhea
  • If the condition worsens or continues without abating, treatment in an emergency room with intravenous saline and hydrocortisone is recommended
  • Addison’s disease, being a chronic condition, requires daily replacement medication
  • Follow-up treatment by regular visits to the physician for examinations, laboratory tests and discussions about symptoms must continue
  • Blood tests, including sodium, potassium, blood counts and plasma renin are very useful in monitoring the response to adjustments in dosage

As the owner of an Addison’s disease patient, you should know that medication for your boston terrier pet is a lifelong measure.

As long as you medicate him adequately, he will lead a crisis-free life without any specific physical or occupational restrictions. But routine check-ups by the vet are an absolute must.


This condition of the eye refers to a prolapse or falling out of place of the tear gland of the third eyelid.

In such a situation, the tear gland in the middle corner of the eye slips out of its fixed place swells and reddens.

Red inflamed tissue resembling a cherry sticks up from the inside corner of your Boston Terrier’s eye.

Though only a cosmetic abnormality, it can be very painful and irritating to the pet over time and is also said to spread to the other eye.

Though your Boston Terrier is as highly prone to this problem as the Cocker Spaniel, at this point there is no conclusive evidence that it is, in fact, a hereditary problem.

“Cherry Eye” can be corrected by surgery, which helps replace and sew the tear gland back where it belongs, or by surgical amputation of the gland tissue.

I hope that you learned something from today’s Boston Terrier newsletter.

All the best and take care

Sharda Baker