What do you see when you look into your dog’s eyes? I bet it is infinite love, loyalty and affection for you. But that is not all I am talking about. Just as we take care of our eyes and look out for signs of any issue, it is important to care for our dogs’ eyes the same way.
In this blog I am going to talk about the common conditions that our lovely pets might face, their warning signs, and when to take them to a vet.
Some breeds of dogs are more prone to eye conditions, particularly flat-faced ones like pugs, bulldogs and shih tzus. Breeds like poodles can also be at risk due to long fur around their face. Anatomically, dogs’ eyes are quite similar to our own, but with one major difference, they have a third eyelid, in the form of a membrane on the inside corner of their eyes. It can extend up to protect the cornea.
The first step is to do a visual check, and see if their eyes look bright, clean and moist, healthy. The lining should be pink and neither too dry or wet. If you see any of the following conditions, take the necessary steps.
1. My dog’s eyes are red
Red or bloodshot eyes could be due to a variety of reasons. It could be something like an allergic reaction to dust or pollen, or something serious like cataract, injury, corneal ulcers or conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis or pink eye usually affects only one eye at a time, similar to humans. If there is swelling along with red eyes or if the issue persists, make sure to consult a professional.
2. My dog’s eyes are swollen
Swollen eyes could be to an allergic reaction (by inhaling something or through food), an injury or abrasion, an infection, a bee sting or glaucoma, among others. Take your pet to a professional immediately if you see swollen eyes.
3. Weeping dog eyes
There can be different types of discharge from the eyes. If there’s a clear, watery discharge then it could be due to an allergy to something physical like a foreign object in the eyes, particularly if it is only from one eye. Pus like discharge indicates something more serious like an infection.
Watery, weeping dog eyes can be due to corneal ulcers or inflammation. The vet may prescribe antibiotics in such a case.
Dry eyes can cause sticky, mucus like discharge. It usually happens when the tear glands are affected, usually due to an injury.
4. Hair loss around dogs’ eyes
Hair shedding is quite common among our canine companions, but particular bald spots might be a cause of concern. One such area is around the eyes, and it usually happens because of excessive rubbing or scratching. This in turn might be a symptom of some allergy or infection like ringworm. A cone might come in handy in such a situation. Fortunately, once the underlying issue is taken care of, your pup will start regrowing hair.
Do dogs develop cataracts?
Yes, dogs can also develop cataracts with age. It is a condition in which the eye lens has some cloudiness within them, which obstructs vision. It depends upon various factors, such as hereditary, other eye disorders like diabetes, or trauma. If you notice some cloudiness in the eyes, consult a vet immediately. If it is detected at an early stage, the vet might suggest some eye drops for cataract.
Certain dog breeds are more at risk of cataracts than others, like cocker spaniels, huskies, poodles and Boston terriers.
How to take care of dogs’ eyes
Follow these tips to take better care of your puppy's eyes -
- Keep checking your dog's eyes once a week. As discussed above, they should be moist, clear and free of gunk, with equal pupil sizes. Apart from this, the eyelids should not be droopy. If your dog keeps running into objects, it might be another sign of getting an eye checkup.
- Clean your pet’s eyes regularly. Take a damp cotton ball and gently rub the corner of the eyes outwards to clear off any gunk or crustiness. Make sure not to rub the area near the pupils. Unclean eyes are the major source of infections.
- Also trim the dogs hair from time to time, particularly near the face. Cut the hair using round-tip scissors, along the edge of the eyes parallely.