Dog Eye Care

Dog eye care can prevent or solve many problems, including infection. Animal eye care involves checking your dog's eyes daily as part of a pet hygiene routine.

Examining Your Dog's Eyes

You should examine your dog's eyes daily for signs of infection. Conjunctivitis is a common dog eye problem, usually caused by bacterial infection. If your dog is suffering from conjunctivitis or any other eye infection, his eyes may appear swollen and inflamed. A yellow or green discharge may be present.

Examine your dog's corneas for lacerations and corneal ulcers, which usually appear as a whitish area on the surface of the eye. Corneal ulcers are usually the result of injury, though not all eye injuries will lead to corneal ulcers. With proper care they can heal, but if they become infected, your dog's eyesight may suffer.

Other common dog eye problems include cataracts and in-growing eyelids. Some additional symptoms of dog eye problems include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Bulging eyes
  • Squinting
  • Cloudiness
  • Excessive tearing
  • Rubbing the eye or face

Protecting Your Dog's Eyes

You can protect your dog's eyes by keeping the fur around them trimmed and the area clean. Use blunt-nose scissors to trim the fur around your dog's eyes. This keeps fur from scratching the surface of the eye, preventing lacerations and corneal ulcers. It can also help keep bacteria from getting into the eye.

Keep your dog's eyes clear of any mucous. You can wash your dog's eyes with veterinary eyewash.

Keeping your dog's eyes clean and his facial fur trimmed can help prevent tear stains, which are often a problem in smaller breeds.

Try to keep your dog away from situations where injury to the eye may occur. Keep substances that could irritate your dog's eyes, such as cleaning fluids, away from your dog. Try to keep your dog from fighting with other animals. Don't allow your dog to hang his head out of the car window, as small particles of dust and debris could cause eye injury; larger objects, such as roadside tree branches, could also injure your dog's eyes.

Helping Your Dog's Eyes Heal

If your dog does sustain an eye injury, or if you notice any unusual eye symptoms while examining his eyes, contact your veterinarian. Many eye infections can be helped with antibiotics, though some dogs may suffer congenital eye problems, which require corrective surgery.

If your dog develops an eye infection or sustains an eye injury, you'll need to keep him from scratching or rubbing the eye while it heals. Allowing your dog to scratch or rub at the infected or injured eye can make the problem worse, and prolong the healing process. Placing an Elizabethan or cone collar on your dog can help keep him from scratching or rubbing at the wounded or infected eye.

The most important part of eye care is to make sure that dog eye problems are treated promptly. Failure to treat dog eye problems or infection can result in damage to his eyesight and even lead to blindness.