Eyecare is equally important as any other care regime for dogs. One of the common eye problems dogs face is eye discharge. It can be a symptom of a disease ranging from infection to glaucoma to allergies. Learn what eye discharge means and how to treat it in this post.
Causes and Treatments of Eye Discharge.
The different colors of eye discharge indicate a separate cause. For example, a clear discharge is mostly caused by allergies or something foreign in the eye, like dust or wind blowing in the face.
Mucus or watery discharge from one eye means there is probably a foreign body, like an eyelash inside the eye.
Whereas, yellow-green or pus-like eye discharge is a sign of serious infection. If you notice eye discharge, consult your vet to figure out the root cause of the eye discharge. If left untreated, some problems can result in blindness or even loss of an eye.
Here are some common eye diseases and their treatments.
In a case of conjunctivitis, there is mucus, yellow-green pus, or a watery eye discharge due to inflammation of the lining of your dog’s eye. Several things like allergies, injury, birth defects, tear duct problems, foreign matter, dry eye, distemper, or even tumors can be the reason behind conjunctivitis. Some other signs of conjunctivitis are very red eyes, inflammation of the inner lining, too much blinking, squinting, crusty eyes. You may notice your dog pawing at the eyes, or keeping its eyes closed.
To treat conjunctivitis, the first step is to determine what is causing it. Further, the treatment is curated based on the cause. The treatment includes removing the irritant and soothing the area with pain medication. Using antibiotics and saline washes to curb infection. Surgery, in case of treated duct problems or birth defects. The vet may prescribe antihistamines for allergies along with other medications.
It is the excessive tearing condition. The watery, teary eyes result in stained or smelly fur below the eyes and sometimes infected skin. The infection, although, can be the result of many other conditions, like abnormal eyelashes, inflammation, allergies, corneal ulcers, or more.
Treatment for excessive tearing depends on what is causing it. It may include topical antibiotics or steroids, in case of tear duct inflammation; antibiotics for cornea damage; or even surgery for duct obstruction, ulcers, and abnormal eyelashes.
- Dry eye.
A sticky kind- of eye discharge could be due to canine dry eye. That is the condition of failure to produce enough eye-cleansing tears. The symptoms of dry eye are mucus and inflammation. Those may be the result of other factors like distemper, injury, a knock in the head near a tear-producing gland, or the body’s immune system attacking the tear gland tissue, too. Dogs with dry eyes are vulnerable to infections, and it can lead to painful and inflamed eyes.
Treatment for dry eye is determined after determining the severity of the condition. The treatment may include artificial tears for several weeks for a mild case of dry eye.
Glaucoma is a known and terrible eye disease that is caused by excessive pressure in the eye. It can be glaucoma if you notice a bulging eye or eyes, cloudy eyes, and some tearing. Glaucoma can cause your dog a lot of pain. Hence, the vet may try to manage it with medications, otherwise, surgery may be recommended.
- Breed issues. Some Flat-faced dogs like Pugs, Pekingese, boxers, and bulldogs are more prone to eye discharge than other breeds because of the anatomy of their faces. Their face structure means shallower eye sockets and protruding eyes. These breeds are called brachycephalic breeds, these are dogs with more prominent eyes but tear drainage problems.
Those were some common causes of eye discharge in dogs. Since eye problems are dangerous and can be a sign of brain or nerve injury, infection, or any other serious problems, to have your dog’s eyes checked by a veterinarian before it is too late is recommended.
How to apply a dog’s eye medication
Treatment for eye issues mostly consists of eye drops or ointments. But applying those on a dog can be tricky. Here are some tips for applying medication to a dog’s eye.
- Keep the eye drops or ointment close at hand when you plan on applying it and clean away any discharge around the eyes using warm water and a cotton ball.
- To pour eye drops, tilt your dog’s head back a little using one hand to support it from behind and the other from the front. In case your dog moves its head, the dropper would not hit its eyes by doing so. Then, squeeze the dropper into the upper part of the eye.
- The eye ointment is applied in the lower part of the eye. So, to apply it, gently pulling down the lower lid will create a pocket in the eyes for the ointment. Then squeeze the ribbon of ointment slightly into the dog’s eye.
- After applying the eye drops or the ointment, gently open and close the eyelids for a few seconds to help the ointment or drops spread around evenly.
Preventive Eye Care
First, check your dog’s eyes by taking a good look at them. The pupils should be the same size. Healthy dog eyes should be bright, crust-free, and have white around the iris. The dog must not be tearing, no squinting and the inner eyelids should not be visible. The lower lids should be pink and not red or white.
To help keep your dog’s eyes bright and healthy, trim the long hair out of its eyes or take it to a groomer and let the pros do their job.
Moreover, watch for even tiny signs that may indicate an eye problem, like pawing or rubbing.