Ocular discharge in dogs may be associated with sleepers in the eye, which is usually the result of the self cleaning action of the eyes to get rid of the accumulated foreign matter. However, if the eye discharge continues throughout the day, then there may be something that you need to worry about. Abnormal eye discharge is usually a sign of eye infection or other health problems, especially when it is accompanied by symptoms such as yellowish-green eye mucoid, bloody eye discharge, and irritation or puffiness around the eyes. Here is a look at some of the possible causes of eye discharge in dogs.
Causes of Eye Discharge in Dogs
There are a number of eye diseases that can trigger off the eye discharge. White, yellow, or brown colored ocular discharge is usually an indication of some dog health problem or eye infection. The most common causes of eye discharge in dogs include:
- Cherry eye or the prolapse of the tear gland of the third eyelid which is caused by the weakness of the connective tissue attaching the glands to the eyelids
- Eyelid defects
- Conjunctivitis or dog pink eye results in inflammation of the mucous membrane and tissues of the eyes caused by bacterial or viral infections, allergies, or trauma to the eyes
- Dry eyes (Keratoconjunctivitis sicca) results in insufficient tear production to keep the eyes lubricated leading to the accumulation of dirt and bacteria in the eyes which can foster infections
- Glaucoma is caused by the increased pressure on the eyes that is usually the result an imbalance in the drainage and production of aqueous humor. This condition may lead to blindness in dogs.
- Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
- Obstruction of tear drainage ducts
- Excessive tear production
- Corneal Ulcer
- Entropion (Inversion of the eyelids)
- Blepharitis (inflammation of eyelids)
- Lens luxation (displacement)
- Trauma and injury to the eye
- Tumors of the eyes
- Infection of different parts of the eye (e.g. the eye surface, the cornea, the eyelids, the iris)
- Infection of the roots of the back upper teeth
Other than eye infections and problems, ocular discharge can be attributed to certain health problems like canine distemper, which is a viral disease that affects dogs worldwide and results in eye discharge along with vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and coughing. Canine infectious hepatitis caused by the canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) that causes severe effects on the dog's liver can also cause eye and nasal discharge along with yellowing of the eyes and bluish tint in the cornea. As the eyes become sensitive to light, there might be frequent discharge.
Treatment for Eye Discharge in Dogs
The treatment consists of a complete examination of the eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, the front and back chambers of the eye and cytology. Based on the diagnostic tests, the doctor may recommend eye drops or other cures for the eyes. To treat dog eye discharge at home, you can use these simple home remedies.
To treat the abnormal eye discharge in dogs, you need to first put on a pair of clean rubber gloves. Examine your dog's eyes to check for the color of the discharge and check for an external trauma or injury to the eyes. Now clean up the discharge with a wet warm cloth and wash out the eyes with a sterile salt solution. Please do not use eye drops or solutions that are meant for human use as they may affect your pet's eyes. Instead, herbal eyewashes containing extracts of chamomile, echinacea, and goldenseal work quite well in cleaning and protecting your dog's eyes from various bacterial and fungal infections. Observe the dog for two to three days. If there is no improvement in the condition or if the dog is constantly bothered by the eye discharge and is scratching or rubbing its eyes, then it is best to consult a veterinarian for appropriate treatment.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a veterinarian.