Eye discharge is normal for dogs but is prevalent in small breeds. It can indicate minor allergies to severe infections, such as glaucoma or conjunctivitis, resulting in blindness if left untreated. Canines with flatter faces, such as boxers, pugs, bulldogs, and Pekingese, are generally 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 it helps if you understand some common health issues among dogs. 

Top 5 Causes of Eye Discharge in Dogs

Dogs’ usual type of eye discharge includes watery eyes, a little goop or crust, white-gray mucus, yellow or green, and reddish-brown tear stains. If you believe your pet’s eye discharge is not normal, take them to a vet right away, such as Memphis Veterinary. Memphis Veterinary Hospital offers ophthalmology care and other emergency care.

1. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of a dog’s eye lining. Because it causes discomfort, dogs often blink or squint and paw at their infected eye. You can see 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 inflamed and red.

You can also notice that they blink excessively or keep their eyes closed. This infection in pets is caused by a wide range of 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

Rather than a specific health problem, epiphora is more of a symptom of several underlying diseases, including allergic reactions, inflammation, corneal ulcers, unusual eyelashes, eye pain, and even tumors. Pets with this condition generally have watery, teary eyes with reddish-brown staining of the fur below their eyes.

3. Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers can be a simple problem or abrasion of the eye’s tissue caused by minor injury. Deeper ulcers often indicate a bacterial infection, which is considered an emergency due to the danger of eye rupture.

The most common signs are squinting, redness, and discharge. Ulcers are usually painful, forcing infected pet dogs to squint, blink more than usual, or even hold their eyes totally closed. The white of their eyes also becomes red and swollen in some cases.

4. Dry Eye

When a pet’s eye stops producing sufficient tears that naturally cleanse its eyes, it usually results in a sticky, firm discharge. Often you can also see mucus and inflammation. This condition might arise from an injury, distemper, or their own body’s immune system attacking their tear gland tissue.

Depending on the severity, a vet will recommend any of 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 arises from extreme pressure in the eye that manifests only in a few days with indications, such as cloudy eyes, pus-like discharge, bulging eye or eyes, and sometimes tearing. This condition hurts and causes infected dogs to lose their cravings or even throw up. The veterinarian may prescribe medications to manage ocular pressure but might also recommend surgery. 

Did you know that there is a link between glaucoma and dental problems? It means that every minor issue can affect their overall health. Besides, your dogs need to visit a vet to check their teeth at least once a year. This way, you can avoid the need for a dental surgeon if your pet’s dental issues are addressed early on.

Avoiding Eye Issues in Dogs

Avoid eye problems that can injure your pets by regularly checking their eyes. Their eyes must be bright and crust-free without any redness around the white of their eyes. Make sure that their pupils have the same size and there should be no or little tearing, no squinting, and their inner eyelids should not be visible.

Gently pull down your pet’s lower lids. See to it that they’re pink and not white or red. If there’s tearing, discharge, cloudiness, tear-stained fur, visible third eyelid, unequal-sized pupils, closed or squinted eyes, take them to the vet immediately.

Selecting the Right Veterinarian for Your Pet

Selecting a vet for your dog plays an important role in their health. That’s why you need to ensure you’re dealing with the right animal doctor. Usually, you know they’re reputable and experienced if their clinic or hospital has veterinarians of various expertise, such as dermatology, emergency and critical care, internal medication, and so on.

It’s also crucial that you consider their location so that you can arrive right away during emergencies. Most importantly, ensure they offer emergency veterinarian services 24/7.

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