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Dog Eye Discharge: What’s Normal?

Pretty white dog with red around his eyes while his owner wonders about dog eye discharge

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Different types of eye discharges are a fairly common problem in dogs. Sometimes it’s completely normal and harmless, while at other times it raises concerns. To learn when to worry about an eye discharge in your dog, keep on reading.

There are different steps that you will have to make in order to determine if your dog’s eye discharge is a red flag for more underlying health problems.

There are five common types of eye discharges in our canine friends. Every type could be linked to a different kind of problem. First of all, let’s determine what kind of discharge is coming from your dog’s eye.

5 Most Common Types Of Eye Discharge In Dogs

Let’s analyze together the five most common types of eye junk in dogs.

Crusts or little goops

Tears are essential in maintaining the health of eyes. They nourish the cornea – the clear layer at the front of the eye. Tears also help remove debris from the surface of the eyes.

Tears drain from the ductus located at the inner corner if the eyes, and sometimes a little but of crust or goop can accumulate in those areas. The goop is most commonly clear, or in a reddish-brown color.

You will most commonly see this material in the morning and in most cases it’s perfectly normal. You can easily remove it with a damp cloth.

This type of eye discharge shouldn’t cause any irritation or discomfort in your dog’s eyes. His eyes shouldn’t be red or inflamed.

If you notice any changes in your dog’s morning goop, either in consistency, color or his behavior — the best decision would be to contact your vet.

Excessive Eye Watering

Excessive eye watering or also known as epiphora is associated with many different conditions. These conditions can range from harmless to severe.

The most common ones are:

  1. Allergies
  2. Irritants
  3. Foreign bodies
  4. Anatomical abnormalities
  5. Glaucoma
  6. Blocked tear ducts
  7. Eye trauma

If your dog’s eyes are only mildly watering, in most cases there isn’t any reason to raise concerns. Monitor your dog for a day or two and see if you will notice any changes.

Maybe it’s just allergy season and your dog got a lot of pollen around his eyes. If you notice any other changes besides his eyes being watery, ask your vet for help.

Brown tear stains

Tear stains in a red or brown color are fairly common in light colored dogs. The discoloration occurs around the inner corners of their eyes. That happens because dog tears contain a pigment called “porphyrin”. This pigment turns a reddish brown color after prolonged exposure to air.

If you want to minimize the tears coming from your dog’s eyes, try the following:

Wipe their inner corners a few times a day with a warm and damp cloth. You can also use eye cleaning solution that is made specifically for dogs. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide!

Another thing to keep in mind is to keep the fur around your dog’s eyes trimmed and short. That will make the dog eye discharge less noticeable.

It can take a few months for the stains to lighten. It’s not an overnight process and you need to give it some time.

Dog Eye Mucus

Dry eye in dogs develop when a dog’s immune system starts to attack the glands in a dog’s body that produce tears.

Fewer tears result with the body trying to compensate that. The body starts making more mucus in order to lubricate the eyes. However, mucus cannot replace the function of tears and therefore the eyes become red and painful. In some severe cases ulcers can start to form.

If left untreated dry eyes in dogs can even end up in blindness.

If you notice dog eye mucus in a greenish color starting to form around your dog’s eyes, make an appointment with the vet. They will know what to do next.

The treatment is usually artificial tears or some other medications, and dogs respond pretty well to it.

Dog Green Eye Discharge

Dog’s producing green or yellow discharge from their eyes often have an eye infection. That’s particularly often the case if swelling and redness are also visible.

Eye infections can develop for a number of different reasons. Sometimes there are even a symptom of some other underlying diseases.

If you notice any symptoms of an eye infection in your dog, contact your vet immediately.

If left untreated, they can end up in blindness. However, the treatment of eye infections is dog is often a simple and painless procedure.

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