Dog Ear QuickLinks
Canine eye discharge is only a symptom, representing some type of underlying dog eye problem. This symptom can be exhibited in various conditions in dog eyes such as allergies, infections, inflammation, trauma, blockage and for various other reasons. The following is an overview of the various causes of dog eye discharges;
- Conformational dog eye abnormalities (problems related to dog eye anatomy) and exposure of dog eye balls to the external environment is the initial cause of transparent watery discharge. In later stages, dense cloudy eye discharge can be noted. Conditions related to the eyelashes, entropion (eyelid turned inward), ectropion (eyelid turned outward) and any congenital anatomical eye defect are some examples of possible causes of canine eye discharge.
- Inflammation and dog eye infections are other reasons for eye discharge in dogs. Infections can be bacterial or fungal as the primary dog eye condition. In other cases, environmental and inflammatory allergies can turn into complicated dog eye infections, which cause mucoid and/or mucopurulent (containing mucus and puss) canine eye discharge. Infections and obvious inflammations such as keratitis (cornea inflammation), conjunctivitis (dog pink eye), uveitis (inflammation inside the eye), blepharitis (dog eyelid inflammation) and other generalized infections of the face leading to eye problems can cause dog eye discharge.
- In some cases, the over production of tears due to excessive activity of the nictitans gland or in cases where there is cancerous development, both can lead to the overflow of tears. Similarly, blockages in tear drainage can also lead to an overflow of tears over the surface of the eye to the face. Overflowing tears mix with environmental pollutants such as dust, pollens etc, forming a viscous liquid, which resembles typical dog eye discharge caused by inflammations or irritation.
Dog Eye Discharge, as a symptom:
Canine eye discharge is a symptom itself, which may occur as the result of the aforementioned conditions. Simply, canine eye discharge is an indication of a dog eye problem. It occurs as a response to any irritation, infectious condition or any abnormality within the physiology of the dog eyes.
In most cases, eye discharge in dogs not only represents the presence of eye abnormalities, but also the amount of discharge also represents the severity of the problem. This can be related to stress, an inflammatory response and a generalized pathogenesis (disease progression) of a dog eye problem.
Different forms of discharge may also help in forming a clinical diagnosis of a dog eye condition. For example, watery and transparent canine eye discharge can indicate an allergy, irritation or the overflow of tears. Similarly, tears mixed with dense pus, blood or other inflammatory cells represents a more complicated dog eye condition, which may occur in any part of the eye.
Being a clinical symptom, eye discharge in dogs can only represent an abnormality, i.e.the underlying cause of dog eye discharge always requires confirmation in order to be treated effectively. Clinical examination and different laboratory approaches such as the culturing/testing of eye discharge, tear tests and isolation of microbes and allergens in eye discharges are some techniques used towards identifying an underlying cause.
To treat canine eye discharge effectively, the underlying cause should be identified and thus treated specifically. Symptomatic treatment of the eye discharge problem can be helpful to provide some limited comfort and relief, but it is never a specific and permanent solution to the problem.
Along with the specific therapy for the underlying condition, eye discharge should be cleaned with clean eye pads, soaked in eye wash solutions/natural remedies such as i-Clenz and a patient should not be allowed to scratch or sustain any self injury to the eye.
Similarly, natural remedies such as Eye Heal and supplements such as Gimborn Vital Nutrition Canine Eye Care, can be used to improve eye health. These should be used in support of any specific therapy recommended by your veterinarian.