Look After Your Dog’s Eyes So They Can Retain Their Healthy Vision
07.10.2022 - Reading time: 4 minutes
The proverbial puppy-eyes are cute and melt your heart, but the eyes of dogs are very prone to irritation. They are sensitive to draughts, cigarette smoke, perfume or room sprays. Even the air-conditioning in a car or airstream can harm dogs’ eyes. If they are sticky, swollen or red, there is something wrong. Read on to find out how you can look after your dog’s eyes in the right way so that your dog can retain his healthy vision.
Eye diseases in dogs
Basically, there are two types of eye diseases in dogs: acquired and congenital, i.e. genetically inherited eye diseases. However, it is impossible to predict if and when the second type of eye disease will develop. Some congenital diseases already appear in puppies or young animals, while others only appear in older dogs.
An overview of eye diseases:
- The eye becoming milky and opaque (or corneal opacity) is a sign of corneal inflammation. On the other hand, the lens clouding can be a symptom of cataracts. If you suspect any of these eye diseases, you should consult a veterinary surgeon immediately.
- Often conjunctivitis is caused by foreign bodies in the eye, wind or dust. Eyelashes that grow incorrectly and get under the eyelid or single hairs at eye level can irritate dogs’ eyes over and over again.
- Blocked tear glands, injuries or allergies are also causes of possible eye problems, along with advancing years in dogs.
Recognise eye diseases in good time
Eye diseases in dogs can sometimes be difficult for lay people to spot. Therefore it is important that you regularly look after your four-legged friend’s eyes and carry out an “inspection”. If you have even the slightest doubt about the unimpaired functioning of the dog’s eyes, do not hesitate to contact a vet immediately.
Not all dog eye diseases are associated with visible changes to the eye. It is therefore important that you also look for symptoms in your dog that do not initially indicate an eye condition.
Look out for the following symptoms:
- Above-average sensitivity to light
- Rubbing the head on the carpet
- Narrowing of the eyes
- Touching of the eyes with the paws
- Irritability and/or restlessness
- Lethargy, apathy and need for sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Sensitivity to touch
With many symptoms it is imperative that you go to the vet or consult an emergency vet straight away.
Consult a veterinary surgeon for the following symtoms:
- A pus-like yellow or greenish discharge from the eye
- Heavily bloodshot eyes in dogs
- Eye changes of any kind: especially opacity, glassiness, eye enlargement or a grey mistiness
- If your dog refuses to open its eyes
- Dilated pupils/differing sizes of pupils
Treating runny and dry eyes
Clear, lively eyes and a clean eye area are a sign of your dog’s good health. But in some dogs, their eyes can be particularly watery or even sticky. Watering eyes in dogs – especially in small breeds that have their heads close to the ground – are primarily a natural process of self-cleaning.
You can promote the self-cleaning powers of dogs’ eyes by applying a mild eye care solution based on herbal essences with no alcohol after a walk.
However, there are other reasons if your dog's eyes are producing more tears:
- Allergic reactions
- Physical irritation: foreign body in the eye, eyelashes, overhanging hair
- Blocked tear ducts that prevent tears from running into the nasal cavity
A dog’s dry eye is irritated, red and painful, so that the dog often rubs the carpet with its paw or head. If the dog’s eye is otherwise healthy, the first step in treatment is to avoid draughts and dry air as well as air conditioning, for example in the car.
In acute cases, the dog’s dry eye should be moistened with special eye drops or eye ointments. If the dog’s dry eye is caused by other factors, such as a genetic malformation of the eyelid, you should consult a veterinary surgeon who specialises in eye diseases.
Never use eye medication meant for human use on your dog. You can do more harm than good. Even with non-specific symptoms and even more so with visible changes in the dog’s eye, you must consult a vet.
Treating sticky eyes
If the dog’s eyes are sticky, a soft, lint-free cotton cloth dipped in warm water and wiped along the eye from the inside to the outside will help. Specially developed cleaning cloths for dog eyes are ideal for this purpose. To avoid spreading germs, you should use a fresh cloth for each eye.
We also recommend caution for dog breeds that are genetically prone to eye problems. In these breeds, encrusted eyes could indicate a possible conjunctivitis or drooping lower eyelids and should be referred to a vet.
Eye care for certain dog breeds
Some breeds suffer frequently from an above-average number of eye problems that are caused by their particular anatomy. This includes in particular flat faced dog breeds with prominent eyes such as Pekinese, Pug, Boston Terrier, Maltese or French bulldog. These breeds can regularly experience dry eyes or increased lachrymation. Therefore, they require daily eye care with the appropriate care products that you can get either from the vet or from us in our online shop.