Should I Worry About My Dog’s Eye Discharges?

Eye discharge is typical among canines, specifically in small breeds. It can be a sign of minor allergies to severe infections, such as glaucoma or conjunctivitis, leading to blindness if untreated. Dogs with flatter faces, such as boxers, pugs, bulldogs, and Pekingese, are typically prone to eye discharge than the other breeds. It’s because they have shallow eye sockets and bulging eyes.

As their owner, you are responsible for your pet’s health and long life. Knowing the causes and consequences of common health problems among dogs is one way to avoid these. 

5 Leading Reasons For Eye Discharge in Dogs

The usual types of dog eye discharge include watery eyes, a little goop or crust, white-gray mucus, yellow or green, and reddish-brown tear spots. If you think your pet’s eye discharge is not normal, take them immediately to a veterinary ophthalmology clinic.

1. Conjunctivitis

Also known as “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is when a pet dog’s eye lining has inflammation. Since it causes discomfort, dogs usually blink or squint and paw at their infected eye. Physically, there is a clear or green discharge from that eye or the sclera (white part of the eye), eyelids, or the area surrounding their eye is inflamed and red.

You can also see them excessively blinking or keeping their eyes closed. This infection in pet dogs is caused by different conditions, such as:

  • Allergies
  • Viral infections
  • Irritation from foreign particles
  • Injury
  • Parasitic infections
  • Obstructed tear ducts
  • Existing eye conditions (glaucoma, anterior uveitis, ulcerative keratitis)
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Birth defects

2. Epiphora or Excessive Tearing

Rather than a specific disease, epiphora is more of a sign of many underlying illnesses, including allergies, inflammation, corneal ulcers, abnormal eyelashes, eye pain, and even tumors. Canines with epiphora generally have watery, teary eyes with reddish-brown staining of the fur underneath their eyes.

3. Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers can be a simple defect or abrasion of the eye’s tissue resulting from minor trauma. Deeper ulcers often indicate a bacterial infection, which is often considered an emergency due to the risk of eye rupture.

The most common symptoms include squinting, redness, and discharge. Ulcers are generally painful, forcing infected dogs to squint, blink too much, and even hold their eyes entirely closed. The white of their eyes also becomes red and swollen in some cases.

4. Dry Eye

When a dog’s eye fails to produce adequate tears that naturally cleanse its eyes, it usually produces a sticky, firm discharge. At times, you can also see mucus and inflammation. This condition may result from an injury, distemper, or their own body’s immune system attacking their tear gland tissue.

Depending on the severity, treatments may be the following:

  • Artificial tears for some weeks for mild cases
  • Antibiotic eye drops to aid in managing secondary infections
  • Immunosuppressant drugs to help control the immune system
  • Surgery

5. Glaucoma

It results from extreme pressure in the eye that shows just in a couple of days with signs, including cloudy eyes, pus-like discharge, bulging eye or eyes, and sometimes tearing. This condition is painful and causes infected dogs to lose their appetite or even vomit. The veterinarian might prescribe medications to manage ocular pressure but may also suggest surgery. 

Unknown to many pet owners, studies found a link between glaucoma and dental problems. Meaning, if you neglect one area of their health, it may result in their overall wellness. So, it’s essential that you also visit a veterinary dentist regularly.

Preventing Eye Issues in Dogs

Before it occurs, avoid eye problems that can hurt your animals by regularly inspecting their eyes. Their eyes must be bright and crust-free without redness around the white of their eyes. Be sure that their pupils have the same size, and there should be no or minor tearing, no squinting, and their inner eyelids should not show up.

Gently pull down your pet’s lower covers, which should be pink and not white or red. If there’s tearing, discharge, cloudiness, tear-stained fur, noticeable third eyelid, unequal-sized pupils, closed or squinted eyes, take them to the veterinarian immediately.

Picking the Right Vet for Your Pet Dog

Choosing a vet for your furry friend plays a crucial role in their health. That’s why you need to ensure you’re dealing with a suitable veterinarian. Typically, you can tell they’re trustworthy and credible if their clinic or hospital has vets of different specializations, such as dermatology, emergency, and crucial care, internal medication, etc.

It’s also important that you consider their location and it’s always best to choose a vet clinic or hospital near you so that you can arrive in a short period during emergencies. If you don’t know anyone, you can browse online and search “emergency dog and cat care in Cordova” if, for example, you’re from the area.