When your dog looks at you with his big, soulful puppy dog eyes, it makes you want to melt. But, when those eyes are red and bloodshot, it can worry you. Dogs eyes are fairly similar to humans eyes; the biggest differences are dogs have a third eyelid to help protect the eye, and dogs have more rods in their cornea. More rods enable dogs to track light and movement well, but they dont see as many colors as humans.
If your dog has red eyes, you can take care of some issues at home, while others need to be addressed at a veterinary clinic. Your vet will conduct a full ophthalmologic exam and run a series of different tests to narrow down the cause for your dogs eye issues.
Just like with humans, allergens can cause your canine companion’s eyes to get itchy and uncomfortable. Itchiness Discomfort Watery discharge Excessive tearing Swollen, red eyes You can then remove the offending items from your home, change your pups food if necessary, and your vet might prescribe medication for your dog.
Some of the most common causes of dog allergies are fleas, pollen, dust mites, certain foods, some household cleaners, perfumes, dander, feathers, and smoke. Wipe your pup down after hes been outside, make sure to use cleaners and products that are safe for your dog, keep his food bowls clean, and avoid spraying intense fragrances around your pooch. If your pups allergies are really intense, you can get an air purifier to help remove airborne irritants.
You may need to put an Elizabethan collar on your pup to keep him from scratching and pawing at his eye. Squinting or blinking Swelling and redness Watery discharge, either clear or with some mucus The vet can determine the actual cause of the problem and prescribe the right treatment.
If a blocked tear duct causes his issue, your vet will need to remove the blockage. You can use different eyewashes to help keep your pups eyes moist and clear. If the ulcers are not severe your vet will prescribe antibiotic eye drops and advise that your dog wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent him from pawing at his eye.
In some cases, your pup might wear a soft contact lens over his cornea until it heals. is when the tissue in front of your dogs eye becomes inflamed and causes redness and pain. Redness and swelling Excessive tearing Small, uneven pupil Discharge Cloudy or dull eye Eye color changes or becomes uneven
Your vet will prescribe a combination of antibiotic ointments and drops for the eyes and oral medications. Your pups red eyes can be a signal to you and your vet that something is going on, which is why it is vital to investigate immediately. Clean your dogs eyes as needed with a soft, damp cloth.
Dont let your pup hang his head out of the car window when driving; this makes him an easy target for foreign objects that can fly into his eyes. Above all, if you ever notice anything a little off with your pups eyes, whether its redness, swelling, or your dog is just pawing at his face often, get him checked out by the vet asap. Your dogs red eyes might be due to a common problem that is fixed easily.
Youll find all sorts of useful information and great resources to help you keep your pup happy and healthy! 15 Fun Things To Do With Your Pet This Holiday Season November 17, 2021
How do I treat my dogs red eye?
Topical Medications. Topical medications are available in ointments or drops and may need to be applied up to three times daily for a week or two until signs resolve. ….Oral Medications. In case of infection or trauma to the eye, oral antibiotics may be prescribed. ….Surgery.
Should I worry if my dogs eyes are red?
Red eyes aren’t always a sign of something bad, but eye injury and disease can progress rapidly, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you see something new and unusual in your dogs’ eyes, if she’s scratching or rubbing her face, and/or if you notice discharge or squinting, it’s time to call the vet.
How long does dog red eye last?
Types of conjunctivitis in dogs. Viral Conjunctivitis: Caused by a virus that can be spread easily and rapidly. Typically it takes around 3 weeks for the dog to fully recover.
How do I know if my dog has an eye infection?
Redness of the eye or surrounding the eye..Swelling around eye..Watery discharge or tearing..Thick, smelly discharge..Squinting and blinking..Holding eye closed..Sensitivity to light..Pawing or rubbing at the eye.
A dogs eyes function a lot like our own. When normal and healthy, a dogs eyes will take in light and transform it into images, like a food bowl or favorite toy. If those eyes become red and irritated, though, they can cause major discomfort and possibly not function very well. If your dogs eyes are red, it will be important for you to know whats causing the redness and what you can do to treat your dogs eyes.
If your dogs eyes are red, call your veterinarian and try to schedule an appointment for that same day. Your veterinarian has the expertise and equipment needed to properly examine your dogs eyes and determine whats causing the redness.
She may also take a small sample of watery fluid from your dogs eyes to determine if there is an underlying bacterial infection. If your dog has cherry eye, your veterinarian will surgically anchor the third eyelid into place. Before you leave your appointment, make sure you understand how to properly administer the medications that your dog will need.
Cherry eye can recur after surgical treatment, so you will need to monitor if your dogs third eyelid pops up again. Your veterinarian will help you determine which management strategy will work best to prevent future eye redness.
Your dogs eyes are the window to her soul and her health. You cant deny the expression in your dogs eyes if shes unwell, in pain, or upset. The connection of your dogs gaze with you is a very powerful way for her to communicate. So when theres a problem with your dogs eyes, whatever the cause youll nearly always notice it very quickly.
Severe squinting Mucky discharge Possibly scratching at the eye In rare cases, if its a really nasty bacteria, an ulcer can perforate your dogs cornea in as little as 24 to 48 hours!
Swelling (if its a heavy knock) and reddening of the eyelids Reddening of the tissues around the eye Reddening of the sclera (the white part of your dogs eyeball) Tears flooding the eye right after the incident (especially if the cornea has been scraped or injured) Possible squinting for a short time after a knock (if that doesnt stop within 30 minutes or so, go to your vet) Homeopathic Arnica at a 6C to 30C potency given every 3 hours or so until improved can hasten healing with this sort of injury. If its a really severe trauma (think hit by a car, running into a tree at full tilt) you may see severe swelling and bleeding in small patches or large sections of the white of the eye, or even within the eyeball .
Smoke, chemicals, artificial fragrances, pesticides and herbicides can all irritate your dogs eyes, making them red and sore . If youre out and about, your dogs eyes can get red from smog, crop-spraying drift, cigarette smoke and other toxins. Inflammation Itchiness Redness Lots of face rubbing Scratching in some cases
Dogs with severe inhalation allergies can lose all the hair around their eyes. Any time you see your dog squinting, you always need to ask your vet to do a corneal stain of the eye. Mild cases of bacterial conjunctivitis may respond to washing the eyes every couple of hours with salt water or herbal tea.
Use a glass dropper or a cotton ball to dribble the salt water into your dogs eyes. Breeds of dogs selected for a lot of folds and loose skin (think Shar Pei, Bloodhound, Mastiff) may have eyelid problems that can cause red eyes. They nearly always require surgical correction to prevent severe damage to the eye over time.
Sometimes there will be a hair growing on the inside of the eyelid even in dogs with good conformation. Its a rare problem, but if it happens, your dog will be squinting or holding her eye shut. It happens when the normal healthy drainage of fluid from the eye is damaged.
Primary glaucoma happens in several breeds, due to inherited anatomical abnormalities. Often the blood vessels on the white of the eye become very obvious and swollen, and the affected eyeball may be visibly larger. Rarer causes are damage to the nerves, drug side effects or some hormonal diseases.
Youll see a red, dry eye, often with a very tacky or sticky discharge. However, I do recommend you consult a homeopathic vet to treat your dogs dry eye. Homeopathy can be highly effective in treating dry eye but dont try to use it on your own.
Youll need a professional homeopath to prescribe a remedy that fits your dogs overall symptoms. But I recommend you only use them as part of a holistic treatment plan with your vets guidance .
Your dogs eyes are as sensitive as your own, and as susceptible to irritation, allergies, injury, and disease. One of the earliest, surest signs of irritation is red eyes. If your dogs eyes appear visibly red or swollen, it could be a sign of something as minor as an irritation or mild allergy, or as serious as eye disease.
Brachycephalic, or flat-faced, breeds like Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, and Pugs Breeds with long hair around their faces, like Poodles, Maltese, and Sheepdogs Older dogs, or dogs with existing health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes Redness, swelling, and discharge can indicate a wide array of issues for dogs, from harmless, mild allergies to something far more serious.
Redness caused by glaucoma will be accompanied by visible swelling Dry eye syndrome (formally known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS). Dry eye can be caused by a number of underlying illnesses, so its important to have your dog checked out by a vet! Red eyes can also be caused by underlying medical issues like hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and some cancers.
If you see something new and unusual in your dogs eyes, if shes scratching or rubbing her face, and/or if you notice discharge or squinting, its time to call the vet. This test uses small strips of paper held in place in the lower eyelid; its a bit uncomfortable, but not painful! Test the internal pressure of your dogs eye using a tool called a tonometer Fluorescein stain test , which uses a harmless dye applied to the eye, allowing your vet to see otherwise-invisible scratches and corneal injuries Blood tests: Your vet may choose to run a blood screening in order to find underlying medical issues and illnesses that can cause eye issues
However, if there is a more serious underlying cause for your dogs red eyes, the vet may refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist for more tests and treatment Clean gunk away from your dogs eyes as needed (with a damp tissue or cotton ball, gently wipe from the inside corner to the outside, being careful not to touch the eyeball) Watch your dog for excessive eye rubbing or scratching, which can be a sign of something amiss As cute as it can be when a dog hangs their head out the window of the car, this is actually a leading cause of eye injury.
Other Eye Symptoms
Dogs’ eyes can become red for a number of reasons. Common causes include:
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your veterinarian will conduct a detailed eye exam, during which she will identify which parts of your dog’s eyes are red. If your vet suspects corneal damage, she will add a few drops of a fluorescent green dye on the cornea to see if there are any corneal scars or scratches.If dry eye is a possibility, your vet will perform what’s called a Schirmer tear test to estimate the level of tear production. She may also take a small sample of watery fluid from your dog’s eyes to determine if there is an underlying bacterial infection.Your veterinarian will recommend treatments according to what’s causing the eye redness. For example, if your dog has dry eye, your veterinarian will prescribe medications like cyclosporine, which stimulates tear production, or artificial tears. If your dog has cherry eye, your veterinarian will surgically anchor the third eyelid into place. Other treatments include anti-inflammatory medications and dog antibiotics.Eye medications are typically formulated as ointments or eye drops. Before you leave your appointment, make sure you understand how to properly administer the medications that your dog will need. If you have not given your dog topical eye medications before, ask your vet to demonstrate how to do so.Keep in mind that not all dogs like receiving eye drops or eye ointments. You may need to be patient with your dog and allow extra time to give the medications.
What Causes a Dog’s Red Eyes?
Red eyes in dogs can happen for number of different reasons. Common causes include allergies, an injury, dry eye or a foreign object in the eye. Sometimes red eyes are no real problem. But others need an immediate trip to the vet.
The cornea is the clear membrane over the front of the eye. If your dog gets a foreign body in her eye or manages to scratch the cornea, it can allow a bacterial infection to attack. The bacteria dissolve the cornea as they grow. This is very painful. You’re likely to see:If your dog bangs her eye while playing or chasing, you might see some of these symptoms:If there isn’t any corneal damage, and the knock isn’t too bad, your dog should recover fairly quickly.
3. Environmental Irritants
Smoke, chemicals, artificial fragrances, pesticides and herbicides can allIf you’re out and about, your dog’s eyes can get red from smog, crop-spraying drift, cigarette smoke and other toxins. This will usually be fairly mild. It should resolve quickly once you move away from the irritant.
7. Poor Conformation
Breeds of dogs selected for a lot of folds and loose skin … (think Shar Pei, Bloodhound, Mastiff) … may have eyelid problems that can cause red eyes.The eyelid canOr it can fold in so that the eyelashes rub on the surface of the eye itself (Sometimes there will be a hair growing on the inside of the eyelid … even in dogs with good conformation. This is an ectopic cilia, which can cause corneal ulceration. It’s a rare problem, but if it happens, your dog will be squinting or holding her eye shut.
8. Glaucoma In Dogs
This serious eye condition is caused by anSecondary glaucoma may be due to uveitis, intra-ocular bleeding, lens dislocation, tumors or damage to the lens.
Symptoms of Glaucoma in Dogs
Glaucoma can occur in one or both eyes. Often the blood vessels on the white of the eye become very obvious and swollen, and the affected eyeball may be visibly larger. It’s often very painful.You may see tearing, squinting, redness, different-sized pupils, and even vision loss.Glaucoma is a serious problem, and in acute cases can cause blindness quite quickly. You’ll need help from a vet for this one. Homeopathic treatment can help with glaucoma so consider consulting a good homeopathic vet for a gentle, non-invasive way to treat this condition.
Causes of Red Eyes in Dogs
Dog eyes have a lot in common with your own: the eye is an active organ, constantly adjusting to light and focusing on objects in the environment. All the parts of the eye work together to produce images and relay them to the brain.Dogs’ eyes differ from humans in thatAs is the case with your eyes, external irritants can cause irritation, and disease can weaken or damage specific parts of your dog’s eye.
How to Keep Your Dog’s Eyes Healthy
Red eyes aren’t always a sign of something bad, but eye injury and disease can progress rapidly, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you see something new and unusual in your dogs’ eyes, if she’s scratching or rubbing her face, and/or if you notice discharge or squinting, it’s time to call the vet.When you take your dog to the vet for eye care, the vet may do some or all of the following:Many eye problems can be treated with topical and/or oral medications. However, if there is a more serious underlying cause for your dog’s red eyes, the vet may refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist for more tests and treatment