Eye: Care

Routine Dog Eye Care:

Even dogs with healthy eyes need care and attention. These should be regularly cleaned and observed for any unusual symptoms. Dealing with minor eye issues at home are part of routine dog eye care.

Routine cleaning may includes the following steps:

  1. Before cleaning dog eyes, make sure that your dog is feeling comfortable. A dog might need to be muzzled. Closely observe for any symptoms such as discharge, redness, swelling or watery secretions.
  2. Always clean and observe dog eyes in a clear light, preferably white milky light. Do not attempt in the dark or at night.
  3. Clean the mucous, debris, dust or any foreign particle around the eye and over the eyelashes with a cotton ball, soaked in normal saline or a quality antiseptic solution.
  4. Trim the hairs around eye, so that they cannot intrude into the eye. Use a sharp-blunt scissors, keep the blunt nose of scissor on the inner side toward the dog, and keep an adequate distance from the eyelashes. Also, make sure that hairs fall outwards, not direct parallel to eye or into the eye.
  5. Closely observe the third eyelash and edges of eye. Clean mucous and make sure that none of the trimmed hairs have entered into the eye.
  6. Use a quality dog eye wash solution such as I-Clenz or a naturally prepared solution for clearing the eye surface. Follow the approach for administrating solutions provided later in this article.

Eye Care During Disease:

Routine care is relatively simple and does not bother most dogs. But, if a dog is having health issue related to the eye, a dog feels stress and might not cooperate in the administration of different drugs and cleaning. So, extra care is needed.

Though administrating dog eye care solutions and ointments is not difficult, an owner must carefully follow their veterinarian's instructions. If a dog does not cooperate or an owner feels difficulty, a veterinarian should be consulted for treatment.

The Following are the steps required for administering specially formulated solutions and ointments for dog eye care:

  1. Make sure that the dog is comfortable, Choose a position that is best for your dog such as standing or a lying down position. Also, a dog might need to be muzzled before procedures are administered. Diseased dogs are usually more aggressive.

    dog eye care
    Source: WSU, Henry Moore

    A table is a great way to steady your dog.  Stand on the side opposite of the eye you are treating. Use your right arm/shoulder to hold your down and keep him still.  With the left hand, firmly hold the dog's muzzle against the table, and pull down the lower eyelid.  Hold the medication with your right hand. Lean your body into the table to prevent your dog from standing.
  2. Trim any extra hair around the eye, if needed. Clean the surroundings and edges of the eye and make sure that you operate in a well lighted room or area.
  3. Apply protective opthalmic cream or ointment over the eye, if is prescribed by your veterinarian.
  4. Carefully read the instructions on any packaging and shake the preparation before applying.
  5. Use the thumb and index finger for holding the package, while controlling the dog's head with other hand.

    dog eye care
    Source: WSU, Henry Moore

    Use your thumb on the hand holding the head to pull down the lower eyelid to create a pouch for the medication.  Hold the medication in the right hand.  Keep the tip just above, but not touching the eye and squeeze the ointment into the pouch created by the held eyelid.
  6. Solutions or Dog Eye Drops:

    • Tilt the head backwards, and keep the eyelids open with the help of your fingers.
    • Hold the dropper or bottle near the surface of the eye. Make sure that the tip of the dropper does not touch the surface of eye and that the eyelids are wide open and dog does not blink.  Create a small pouch for the medication as you pull back the eyelid.
    dog eye care
    Source: WSU, Henry Moore

    • Administer the drops according to prescription and release the head of the dog
    • Allow the dog to blink eye, to spread medication.

  7. Ointments:

    • Hold the head of the dog and open the eyelids with your free fingers.
    • By holding the upper eyelid, gently open the lower eyelid outwards to the maximum possible.
    • Hold the tube parallel to the lower eyelid and introduce the ointment to the base of the lower eyelid. The quantity of ointment may vary based on the prescription, but a small amount such as the size of a sesame seed is not enough. Make sure the tip of the tube does not touch surface of eye.
    • Release the dog's head to allow it to blink. Gently massage both eyelids to spread the medicine throughout the whole eye.

      dod eye care
      Source: WSU, Henry Moore
  8. Some dog eye washing and therapeutic solutions and ointments are prepared to be administered through wiping over the eye or they are applied on the edges with the help of cotton balls. Such formulations should be dispensed properly before administration, according to the instructions of the manufacturer. The addition of a natural remedy to your regimen such as Eye Heal can help to spread healing and to support eye health after a cure has been achieved.
  9. Stay calm while you operate with the eyes, and offer treats after successful cleaning or administration of therapeutics.