Caring for your dogs eyes

Dog Playing
Dec 7, 2018

Eye care for dogs and eye conditions which can occur in dogs

CONJUNCTIVITIS is inflammation of the inner lining of the eyelid and the white of the eye. It can be caused by infections, allergies, inadequate tear production or irritation.

DRY EYE occurs when the tear glands cannot produce enough tears. The most common cause is immune dysfunction of the lacrimal gland, but viral diseases, drug reactions, allergies or injuries can also lead to this condition. If left untreated it can cause ulceration of the surface of the eye, pain and ultimately loss of vision. Certain breeds are predisposed.

CORNEAL ULCERS occur when the cornea’s surface is scratched by a foreign object or is damaged by inadequate tear production or infection or a chemical irritant. They are very painful and your dog will not want to open its eye. Breeds with bulbous eyes and ageing dogs are particularly vulnerable.

EPIPHORA is when your dog’s eye has excessive discharge and the fur around it appears stained or wet. This may be a result of blocked tear ducts.

CATARACTS is clouding of the lens inside the eye. It is commonly seen in elderly and diabetic dogs and is the most common cause of canine blindness. This is hereditary in some breeds. The blindness can be reversed with cataract removal.

GLAUCOMA is too much pressure being exerted upon the eye’s interior as a result of a decrease in the amount of fluid draining from it. It is painful and can result in sudden blindness. Immediate treatment is imperative to save vision in the eye.

How does your vet diagnose these eye problems?

  • Fluorescein stain to identify the presence of corneal ulcers
  • Schirmer Tear Test to determine the level of tear production
  • Ocular pressure to detect glaucoma
  • Ophthalmoscope to see in the eye chamber

How to administer eye drops for your dog?

1. Clean any discharge around the eye with a moistened swab with luke-warm water.
2. See the instructions on the bottle for dosage. Shake if necessary.
3. Hold the bottle in one hand between thumb and index and place the other under your dog’s jaw to support the head.
4. Tilt the head back and, to prevent blinking, use your free fingers to hold the eyelids open.
5. Hold the bottle close to the eye, but do NOT touch the eye’s surface.
6. Squeeze the drops on to the eyeball, then release the head.
7. Your dog will blink, spreading the medication over the eye’s surface.


How to apply eye ointment to your dog’s eyes?

Dogs eye care1. Remove any discharge around the eye with a cotton ball moistened with warm water.
2. Check the instructions on the tube for dosage.
3. Gently pull back upper and lower eyelids.
4. Holding the tube at a 45° angle to the lower eyelid, squeeze the ointment on to its edge. DON’T let the tube touch the eye’s surface.
5. Release the head
6. Lightly massage upper and lower eyelids together to spread the medication.


Always administer medicine to its full term as described by your veterinarian for it to be fully effective. Always praise and reward your dog with a treat.

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