Doggie Eye Boogies And What They Mean

Apr 5, 2022 | Pet Health, Pets

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Have you ever wondered if your dog’s eye boogies are normal?  If you have, you are not alone.  I’m writing on this topic because Maggie constantly has eye boogies (as I call them) and now Jake has been showing signs of eyes tearing up.  I took them to vet and was told they are fine and with spring here, their allergies might be acting up.  Goods news is that they are not suffering from a bacterial infection.  Their eyes are not inflamed nor are they trying to scratch their eyes with their paws as some dogs will try to do.  I do have them on a medication called Apoquel which is helping.  They both were diagnosed with grass and pollen allergies two years ago so it looks like they are prone to dealing with allergies like I am.

Jake laying on my boot so I don't leave.

This is Jake.  He lays his head on my shoes when I get ready to leave.  If I wait too long, he just falls asleep on them.  These are photos taken in sequence to show you.  What a cutie!  He makes me laugh and feel guilty at the same time!

Jake eye boogie 1 | www.twoadorablelabs.com
Dog eye discharge is quite common and may be the result of many things from breed type to allergies.  Dogs continuously produce tears to lubricate their eyes but there are times when eye discharge may be cause for concern.  Some dogs are more prone to discharge than to others.  Flat-faced dogs, like pugs, Pekingese, Boston terrors, bulldogs, and boxers, tend to suffer from eye leakage more than pointy nose dogs.  Their flatter faces often mean shallower eye sockets and protruding eyes.
 
Called brachycephalic breeds, dogs with more prominent eyes may have tear drainage problems; eyelids that roll inward (entropion), causing great irritation by the lashes; or lids that don’t close fully over their eyes, a condition that can require surgery.

Breeds with loose facial skin, like bloodhounds, cocker spaniels, beagles, Saint Bernards, and some terriers, are more prone to eyelids that roll outward (ectropion), as well as cherry eye, a condition that occurs when a gland in the eyelid falls out of position. While antibiotics and steroids can help, surgery is often necessary for these conditions.

Common causes of dog eye discharge include ulcers, entropion, keratoconjunctivitis sicca and conjunctivitis (allergic or bacterial).
Jake eye boogie 2 | www.twoadorablelabs.com
Watery Eyes May Mean Trouble 

*Excessively watery eyes, also known as epiphora, is often due to the shape of many breeds’ eyes. 

*However, certain conditions can also cause epiphora. These disorders may include sinusitis, trauma, fractures, tumors, obstructed tear ducts or inflammation. 

 
Tear Stains Are Normal
 
*Tear stains are also quite common in flat-faced breeds as well as in light-colored dogs. These lighter breeds often develop reddish-brown discoloration near the inner corners of their eyes.  If there are no other diagnosed problems, this staining is completely normal.

*However, if the stained fur has an unpleasant, persistent odor, your dog may need more than a bath. 

*This accompanying smell may be the result of an infection or a number of other medical conditions ranging from allergies to tumors.

 
How to Remove Tear Stains 

*If you determine the discoloration is normal but unsightly, you may want to remove the tear stains. 

*While most recommend consulting with your vet before treating these patches, there are a few steps you can take to minimize them. 

*One option is to trim the hair close to the eyes to prevent tear accumulation, and regularly wipe the area with a damp cloth. 

*You might also apply mild hydrogen peroxide or Visine to lighten the stain until the fur grows out again. 

*Just avoid getting these solutions in your dog’s eyes!
Jake eye boogie 3 | www.twoadorablelabs.com
Discharge May Be a Sign of Infection

*In addition to dog eye discharge frequency, it’s also imperative you note it’s color, as it may be a sign of particular health issues. 

*Yellow or green eye puss that crusts overnight may be a sign of an infection like conjunctivitis — or pink eye —especially if eye redness is also present. 

*You might also notice your pup squinting, blinking frequently or pawing at his eyes in an attempt to ease the discomfort. 

*If this is the case, consult your vet as soon as possible to prevent any permanent damage. 
 
Developing Too Few Tears
 
*Some dogs may have a problem with developing too few tears. Typically, this happens when a pup’s immune system attacks and destroys its tear-producing glands. 

*However, eye infections may also cause dry eye — also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS. 

*Without tears, the dog’s eyes try to lubricate themselves with a white-gray mucus. Yet this discharge only makes them red, itchy and painful. 

*If left untreated, KCS can cause ulcers and even blindness. 

If you notice this mucus, take your dog to the vet, who may prescribe artificial tears or other medications. 
Jake eye boogie 4 | www.twoadorablelabs.com
How to Clean Off Tears

*If you notice your dog suffering from epiphora or any colored discharge, try wiping his face with a soft, wet cloth. Doing this on a regular basis will help remove excess gunk and crusties that would otherwise irritate their eyes. 

*Avoid cleaning the area around their eyes with your fingers, as it’s quite sensitive. If your dog moves their head too quickly, you risk accidentally poking them in the eye. 

*Refrain from cotton balls or other products that may shed into their eyes and cause further irritation.

How to Prevent Dog Eye Problems

*Regularly cleaning tears and crusties of your pooch’s face is an excellent way to keep their eyes clean and irritant-free.
 
*Trim the hair around their eyes often to keep fur from irritating them.  I have even seen dog owners tie their pups hair back from their eyes.

*Their pupils should be the same size, and the area around the iris should be white. Look for excessive tearing, squinting and red or white flesh under the lower lids. 

*Keep an eye out for cloudiness, thick or colored discharge or a visible third eyelid. 
 
Jake eye boogie 5 | www.twoadorablelabs.com

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What Do You Think? Let Us Know!

4 Comments

  1. Carla D Evans

    Interesting how our animals have allergies just like us. Jake, eye boogies or not, you are still so cute!!!❤

    Reply
    • Bobbi

      Thanks Aunt Carla! I am cute :-). Love, Jake!

      Reply
  2. Michelle Fiedorczyk

    Thanks for all the good info. Buddy has been suffering from the eye boogies. I am pretty sure it’s allergies going to have to call the vet I guess.

    Reply
    • Bobbi

      You are welcome. I just think it’s better to call the vet to make sure. You just never know and if it something that needs antibiotics, you can get Buddy back to good health. Sometimes Benadryl can help but ask your vet to be sure!

      Reply

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