Common Dog Eye Problems: When Should You Worry About Eye Discharges?

Eye discharge is common among pets, especially in small breeds. It can indicate minor allergies to severe infections, such as glaucoma or conjunctivitis, causing blindness if not treated. Canines with flatter faces, such as boxers, pugs, bulldogs, and Pekingese, are more vulnerable to eye discharge than the other breeds. This is because they have shallow eye sockets and bulging eyes.

As a pet owner, you are responsible for their health and long life. That’s why you must understand the causes and consequences of common health issues among pets. These include the ears, skin, teeth, and overall health.

Leading Causes of 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 stains. If you think your dog’s eye discharge is not normal, take them right away to the ophthalmology pet care clinic.

1. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of a dog’s eye lining. Because it causes discomfort, canines often 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 that surrounds their eye is swollen and red.

You can also see them blinking too much or keeping their eyes closed. This infection in pets is triggered by caused by conditions, including:

  • 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

Epiphora is more of a symptom of many underlying diseases rather than a specific illness. These include allergies, inflammation, corneal ulcers, abnormal eyelashes, eye pain, and even tumors. Dogs with epiphora have watery, teary eyes with reddish-brown staining of the fur below their eyes.

3. Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers can be a simple issue or abrasion of the eye’s tissue caused by minor trauma. Deeper ulcers often show a bacterial infection, which is considered an emergency because of the risk of eye rupture.

The most common signs are squinting, redness, and discharge. They are generally painful, forcing infected dogs to squint, blink excessively, and even hold their eyes totally closed. The white of their eyes also becomes red and swollen in some cases.

4. Dry Eye

When a dog’s eye stops producing sufficient tears that naturally cleanse its eyes, it produces a sticky, firm discharge. In some cases, 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 seriousness, treatments may be:

  • 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 arises from excessive pressure in the eye that manifests only in a few days with indications, 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 and even vomit. The veterinarian may prescribe medications to manage ocular pressure but may also require surgery. 

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

Avoiding Eye Issues in Dogs

Before it happens, prevent eye problems that can harm your dogs by regularly inspecting their eyes. Their eyes must be bright and crust-free without redness around the white of their eyes. Ensure that their pupils have the same size and there should be no or slight tearing, no squinting, and their inner eyelids must not be visible.

Carefully pull down your pet’s lower lids, 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 vet immediately.

Picking the Right Vet for Your Pet

Choosing a vet for your furry friend plays an essential part in their health. That’s why you need to ensure you’re dealing with the best animal doctor. Usually, you can tell they’re dependable and reputable if their clinic or hospital has vets of different expertise, such as dermatology, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, etc.

On top of these, consider a hospital or clinic near you with 24 hour emergency vets so that you can bring your dogs immediately.