Eye Care of Dogs – Recognize & Prevent Diseases

The proverbial loyal dog look is cute and heartbreaking—but dog eyes are very irritable. They are sensitive to drafts, cigarette smoke, perfume, or air fresheners. The ventilation in the car or the wind can also damage the beautiful dog’s eyes. If they are sticky, swollen, or red, something is wrong. Read here how to properly take care of your dog’s eyes so that your dog can keep a healthy perspective.

Eye diseases in dogs

There are basically two types of eye diseases in dogs: acquired and congenital, ie genetically determined eye diseases. However, it is not possible to predict whether and when the latter will erupt. Some congenital diseases already appear in a puppy or young animal age, others only in advanced dog age.

Overview of eye diseases:

  • Milky cloudiness of the eye (or the cornea) indicates corneal inflammation. On the other hand, the clouding of the lens can be a symptom of cataracts. If you suspect these eye diseases, you should consult a veterinarian immediately.
  • Conjunctivitis is often caused by foreign objects in the eye, wind, or dust. Wrongly growing eyelashes that come under the eyelid, or individual hairs at eye level can irritate the dog’s eye again and again.
  • Clogged tear ducts, injuries, or allergies are also causes of possible eye problems, as is advanced dog age.

Detect eye diseases in time

Eye diseases in dogs are sometimes difficult for a layperson to recognize. It is therefore important that you regularly care for your four-legged friend’s eyes and subject them to an “inspection”. If you have the slightest doubt about the undisturbed functionality of the dog’s eye, do not hesitate to consult a veterinarian immediately.

Not all dog eye diseases are accompanied by visible eye changes. It is therefore important that you also pay attention to symptoms in your four-legged friend that do not initially indicate an eye problem.

Look out for the following symptoms:

  • above-average sensitivity to light
  • rubbing head on the carpet
  • squinting of the eyes
  • blink
  • touch of the eye with the paws
  • irritability and/or restlessness
  • lethargy, listlessness, and need for sleep
  • loss of appetite
  • touch sensitivity
  • whining

With some symptoms, an immediate visit to the veterinarian or a veterinary emergency center is unavoidable.

Consult a veterinarian if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Purulent yellow or greenish discharge from the eye
  • Heavily bloodshot dog eyes
  • Eye changes of all kinds: in particular cloudiness, glassiness, eye enlargement, gray haze
  • When your dog won’t open its eyes
  • Dilation of the pupils/different pupil sizes

Treat watery eyes and dry eyes

Clear, lively eyes and a clean eye environment are evidence of your dog’s health. But in some dogs, the eyes water particularly heavily or are even glued together. Watery eyes in dogs – especially in small breeds that have their heads close to the ground – are initially a natural process of self-cleaning.

You can support the self-cleaning powers of the dog’s eyes by using a mild eye care solution based on herbal essences without alcohol after the walk.

However, there are other reasons for your dog’s increased tear production:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Wind/draft/air conditioning
  • Physical irritation: Foreign body in eye, eyelashes, overhanging hair
  • Clogged tear duct, preventing tears from draining into the nasal cavity

A dry dog’s ​​eye is irritated, red, and painful, causing the dog to frequently rub its paw or head against the carpet. If the dog’s eye is otherwise healthy, the first therapeutic measure is to avoid draughts, dry air, and air conditioning, for example in the car.

In the acute state, the dry dog ​​eye should be moistened with special eye drops or eye ointments. If the dryness of the dog’s eye is caused by other factors such as a genetic malformation of the eyelid, you should definitely consult a veterinarian who specializes in eye diseases.

Never use human eye medication on your dog. You can do more harm than good with it. A veterinarian must also be consulted in the event of non-specific symptoms and even more so if there are visible changes in the dog’s eyes.

Treat sticky eyes

A soft, lint-free cotton cloth dipped in warm water and wiped along with the eye from the inside out helps with sticky dog ​​eyes. Specially developed cleaning cloths for dog eyes are suitable for this. To prevent germs from spreading, you should use a fresh cloth for each eye.

Caution is also required here with dog breeds that are genetically prone to eye problems. With them, encrusted eyes could indicate possible conjunctivitis or drooping lower eyelids and belong in the hands of a veterinarian.

Eyecare in certain dog breeds

Some breeds have an above-average frequency of eye problems that are caused by their special anatomy. This particularly affects flat-faced dog breeds with protruding eyes, such as Pekingese, Pugs, Boston terriers, Maltese or French bulldogs. These breeds can experience dry eyes or increased tearing on a regular basis. Therefore, they require daily eye care with appropriate care products, which you can get from the veterinarian.

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