Man’s best friend could use a good eyeballing once in awhile-believe us, your dog won’t take it personally! In fact, giving him regular home eye exams will help keep you alert to any tearing, cloudiness or inflammation that may indicate a health problem. Check out the following ways to help keep your dog’s vision sharp-and that twinkle in his eyes.
Common Causes and Treatments of Eye Discharge in Dogs
If your dog has clear eye discharge, chances are good it's caused by allergies or something physical, like dust in the eye or wind blowing in the face. A watery discharge or mucus from one eye is often a sign of a foreign body, like an eyelash, while yellow-green or pus-like eye discharge could indicate a serious infection. Always talk to your vet to get at the root cause of your dog's eye discharge, because some problems can result in blindness or loss of an eye if left untreated.
To treat conjunctivitis, it's important to learn what's causing it. Depending on the cause, treatment can include: removing the irritant and soothing the area with pain medication; antibiotics and saline washes to manage infection; surgery to treat duct problems or birth defects; antihistamines for allergies; or other medications.
Epiphora (excessive tearing). Watery, teary eyes -- resulting in stained or smelly fur and/or infected skin -- can also be the result of many conditions, including abnormal eyelashes, inflammation, allergies, corneal ulcers if medicine is not effective, tumors, eye pain, glaucoma, and more.
Treating excessive tearing depends on what's causing it and may include: topical antibiotics or steroids for tear duct inflammation; antibiotics and topical medication for cornea damage; or surgery for duct obstruction, ulcers, or abnormal eyelashes.
Dry eye. A sticky, tenacious eye discharge could point to canine dry eye -- a failure to produce enough eye-cleansing tears. Dry eye -- symptoms can also include mucus and inflammation -- may be the result of distemper, injury, a knock in the head near a tear-producing gland, or the body's own immune system attacking the tear gland tissue. Infection is a serious risk for dogs with dry eye and can lead to painful, inflamed eyes. Ulcers on the cornea (surface of the eye) are also a serious risk since, without the lubricating effect of tears, the eyelid can scratch the surface of the eye just by opening and closing.