Dog Eye Discharge Causes, Types, Prevention, and When To See A Doctor?

dog eye discharge

It is normal for your dog to have eye discharge, just like it happens to you when you wake up from a long sleep. Dog eye discharge does not necessarily have to be a concern because it mostly helps in lubricating the eyes, fighting foreign particles, and easing irritation.

A dog’s body can increases discharge when it needs to get rid of waste. Similarly, their eyes create thick mucus if there is an infection to trap and discard it.

However, a dog with unusual eye discharge can indicate some serious underlying health problems. Nothing can be worse than seeing your little pal in discomfort and you need to know exactly what’s going on with his body to release him of pain.

Don’t you worry; we’ve got your back!

What Causes Dog Eye Discharge?

Causes of dog eye discharge

Dog eye discharge can have a lot of causes. A clear discharge is your dog’s body performing it daily a chore. His eyes accumulate debris throughout the day and clean it out of his system through discharge.

However, dog eye discharge green or yellowish-green in color can denote some serious infection. Consult your dog’s vet to get to the main ground of what is affecting your dog. Some common reason could be:

1. Allergies

Spring is the season for most of your dog allergies when flower dander and pollen is in the air. Chances are that the pollen may get into your dog’s system. In response, his cells may release histamine, a compound accountable for causing discharge allergy.

It is more likely to be an allergy if both the eyes have a clear watery discharge. Symptoms could include itching and irritation, sneezing or flushing of the skin.

You can talk to your vet regarding anti-histamine drugs like Zyrtec or Chlor-Trimeton to reduce allergies. Additionally, cleaning the eye with over-the-counter sterile eyewash can also help.

2. Conjunctivitis

Dog’s are strikingly similar to humans and can face human-like conditions.  Also known as pink-eye, it is an inflammation on the lining of your dog’s eyes.

It often occurs in one eye and can be either a viral infection or a bacterial one. If it is a viral infection, the discharge would be watery and thick. However, if you see thick yellowish-green mucus, chances are your dog has a bacterial infection.
Viral infection can be cured just by required cleaning (use cotton balls and lukewarm water) and eye drop lubrication to ease the irritation. Bacterial infections need antibiotics.

However, there can be other reasons for conjunctivitis too. It can be congenital or may occur due to allergies, injury, distemper, foreign matter, or sometimes it can also be an underlying tumor. It is better to consult your vet if things don’t improve.  

3. Epiphora

Big word! E.P.I.P.H.O.R.A. It is just a fancy word for “excessive tearing” that can cause irritation, inflammation, and sometimes smelly fur or infected skin.

It is often caused due to an abnormally inward grown eyelash which can gash the cornea causing redness and watery eyes.
Tear duct inflammation may require a blend of antibiotics with ophthalmic corticosteroids which can ease redness and irritation. Corneal damage needs to be treated with the help of antibiotics and topical medication. However, if the issue is serious, your dog may have to go through a surgery.

Symptoms may include redness, excessively watery eyes, pain, or swelling around the eye. It is best if you consult the vet if your dog shows such symptoms. Also, make sure you get his eyelashes trimmed if that is the cause of irritation.

4. Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or dry eyes can be caused due to the inability of your dog’s tear duct to produce enough eye-cleaning tears.

Symptoms may include mucus and inflammation. It can be a result of distemper, injury in the tear-producing gland, or the dog’s immune system attacking this gland.

Dogs with dry eyes are prone to infection and can lead to severely inflamed eyes. Artificial tear drops can help alleviate irritation and lubricate your dog’s eyes.  However, if something is serious, your vet may prescribe antibiotics or immunosuppressant drugs to control his immunity system.

5. Glaucoma

It is an eye condition that is caused due to a build-up pressure and can lead to optical nerve damage. It may also cause complete blindness in senior dogs.
It may result in extreme pain, and the vet may have to decrease the pressure by surgery or heavy medication. You can give your dog some CBD treats to reduce the recurrence of Glaucoma.

6. Breed Inclination

Some dog breeds tend to have excessive eye discharge. Brachycephalic or flat-faced dog breed like a pug, bull-dog, boxer, are prone to ocular discharge because of their shallow eye sockets and protruding eyes. This sometimes leads to entropion (inward-rolled eyelids) and tear drainage problems causing irritation. It may require surgery if left unattended.

However, dogs with loose facial skin like St. Bernard, beagles, cocker spaniels are vulnerable to ectropion (outward-rolled eyelids) causing cherry eyes.

It is a condition when an eyelid gland deforms. It can be cured by medication but serious cases might need surgery.
If you are a dog parent of a flat-faced or loose-faced breed, make sure you clean his eyes and take him for eye check-ups frequently.

Woof! Almost OD-ed on scientific terms. 

What are the types of>What are the types of Dog Eye Discharge?

types of Dog Eye Discharge

1. Dog Excessive Tearing

Teary or runny eye in dogs is normal. It is a part of their daily body process. However, excessive tearing can mean serious problems. If tearing develops in redness or inflammation, it is time to take your pooch to the vet.
Reasons behind your dog’s runny eyes could be allergies, corneal damage, glaucoma, or breed-prone tearing.

2. Dog Eye Boogers

“Eye Boogers” or “sleepies” as they are called, are nothing but discarded oil, dust or dried tear. Generally black or brown, and can appear even when your dog has slept more than usual.
You just need to take a cotton ball and some lukewarm water to wipe these off.  
Boogers are of less concern unless turning into irritation or redness in the eye, then you need to consult your vet.

3. Dog Eye Discharge – Brown

Dogs like Pomeranian, Golden Retriever, and Golden Labrador, which have light fur shade, tend to develop brown stain around their eyes.
This is due to the presence of porphyrin in dog tears. Porphyrin turns dog eye discharge brown in color when exposed to air and allowed to dry.
If your dog doesn’t face any discomfort with it, all you need to do it wipe their eye regularly without giving porphyrin to dry. You can also get an antibiotic-free supplement which will reduce staining over time.  

4. Dog Eye Discharge – Green and Yellow

Dog eye green discharge generally is a cause of infection. There can be underlying causes like tear duct damage, eye damage, or can be that your dog’s immunity has been attacked by more serious illness.
Goes without saying that is, as soon as you see such a discharge, run to the vet.

Note: Yellow-green discharge in puppies can be due to repeated vaccination within short intervals. This doesn’t necessarily mean your dog is sick. It is advised to take him to the vet and find the root cause.

5. Dog Eye Discharge – White

Thick white or grey mucus can be dangerous. It is a symptom of dry eye and you would want to take your doggo to the vet immediately.
Keratoconjunctivitis (dry eyes) that decreased the tear creating capacity of the tear duct results in white dog eye discharge.
If not treated in time, it may lead to partial or complete blindness.

How to Prevent Dog Eye Discharge?How to Prevent Dog Eye Discharge?

gncenter size-large">Prevent Dog Eye Discharge