When was the last time you checked your dog's eyes for tearing, cloudiness or inflammation? These can all be signs of a more serious health problem. It's not that hard to check them. In a well-lit area, look into your dog's eyes. They should be clear and bright, with the area around the eyeball being white. Make sure the pupils are equal in size and there is no tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of his eyes. Be sure to look for any of the following symptoms:
- Discharge & crusty gunk
- Red or white eyelid linings
- Tear-stained fur
- Closed eye(s)
- Cloudiness or change in eye color
- Visible third eyelid
- Unequal pupil sizes
Cleaning Your Dog's Eyes
If your dog's eyes are crusty, gentle wipe with them with a damp cotton ball to remove any gunk. Wipe outward from the corner of the eye and make sure not to touch the eyeball; you can accidentally scratch the cornea. If your dog constantly suffers from runny eyes and discharge, please see your veterinarian. Your dog may have an infection.
No Plucking or Waxing!
Although women are used to plucking or waxing their eyebrows, dogs are a little different. Long-haired breeds can get eye damage if their fur is not tamed. Using scissors with rounded tips, carefully trim the hair around your dog's eyes to keep his vision clear and prevent hairs from poking and scratching.
Be Careful of Dry Eyes
Although your dog probably loves driving with the car windows down, if debris or an insect touches her eye, she may suffer pain and a long-lasting injury. It's much safer to drive with the windows only partially down and your dog's head inside the vehicle. The wind can also dry out your dog's eyes, possibly causing irritation and infection.
It Can Be Hereditary
Do a little research and find out if your dog's breed is predisposed toward eye conditions, such as glaucoma or progressive retinal atrophy. Of course, your pet should have his eyes checked on annual vet visits, but knowing about possible inherited problems will help you take important precautions.
According to WebMd, be on the lookout for some of these common eye disorders:
- Conjunctivitis: One or both of your dog's eyes will look red and swollen, and there may be discharge.
- Dry Eye: Diminished tear production can cause corneal inflammation, squinting and discharge.
- Cherry Eye: An enlarged tear gland forms a cherry-like mass on the dog's eye.
- Epiphora: An overflow of tears creates stains on the dog's facial fur.
- Glaucoma: The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
- Ectropion: A turning outward of the upper eyelid causes the lower lid to droop.
- Entropion: A rolling in of the eyelid causes discharge and tearing.
- Cataract: An opacity on the lens of the eye can cause impaired vision and possible blindness.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Caused by degeneration of retinal tissue-night blindness is often its first sign.