Watery Eyes in Dogs

Watery eyes in dogs may be caused by a variety of factors such as chemicals or infections. If the condition affects the pet for several days, this can lead to inflamed eyes and infections. For this reason, it’s best if the condition is detected and treated in a timely manner.

Causes of Watery Eyes in Dogs

Watery eyes in dogs can be caused by the following eye conditions:

  • Conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the conjunctiva
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Uveitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Epiphora, a condition also known as poodle eye
  • Nasolacrimal duct infections
  • Congenital defects of the tear duct

Eye irritation may also lead to an excessive production of tears. The eye irritation may be caused by:

  • Allergies
  • A foreign object in the eye (i.e. dust, an insect or eyelashes)
  • Chemicals or smoke in the environment

Additional Symptoms with Watery Eyes

You should be on the lookout for additional symptoms that may be specific to the underlying condition leading to excessive tearing.

You may notice a few symptoms such as:

  • Red eye, which may be caused by conjunctivitis, allergies or other eye infections
  • Mucous discharges from the eyes and even from the nose, which can be due ton an infection. The color of the discharge should be
  • Sneezing and sometimes coughing, indicative of an allergic reaction
  • Skin rashes, present if the dog has an allergic reaction
  • Runny nose

You should also observe if one or both eyes have discharges. For instance, if the discharges are only from an eye, this can be a sign of a foreign object in the eye.

Diagnosing Watery Eyes in Dogs

The watery eyes in dogs can be diagnosed if an ophthalmologic exam is performed.

Staining the pool of ocular discharges with fluorescein dye may also be needed. This will establish the chemical composition of the tears and may help in the diagnosis.

Intradermal testing can be performed if the vet suspects an allergic reaction.

The vet may ask you questions about possible allergens, so that the testing can be done more efficiently.

Treatment Options for Watery Eye Conditions

The treatment options will vary according to the diagnosis:

  • Antibiotic treatment will be recommended in the case of conjunctivitis or nasolacrimal duct infection
  • Surgery, if the nasolacrimal duct is blocked or if the dog has a birth defect affecting the tear ducts
  • Removal of the foreign object, which can be done by flushing the eye with liquids, but may also be performed by using some precision tools such as tweezers
  • Allergy treatment with antihistamines, which will block the immune system and reduce the symptoms
  • Corticosteroids, which can be recomemdned in the case of a severe inflammation or if the dog has an allergic reaction. The drugs will suppress the immune system and eliminate the inflammatory cells

Topical creams and eye drops will typically be prescribed in addition to the oral treatment. These solutions should be applied only after cleaning the eyes with a sterile solution of false tears, which will remove all impurities from the eye.