Eye: Injury

Causes and Forms:

Canine eye injury or ocular traumas are purely mechanical in nature, i.e. caused by an accident, trauma, hit, scratch or airborne objects. In general, eye injury in dogs is caused by either a blunt force or by a sharp object which directly hits/traumatizes the eye or part of the eye. Blunt or dull forces may cause superficial injuries to a dog eye, i.e. they do not penetrate into the eye but cause injury and a possible wound. This often results in swelling on the surface of the eye and the area around the eye.

The blunt form of dog eye injury may result in proptosis (displacement of the eye socket), hyphema (bleeding in the front part of eye), luxation (displaced lens), fractures of the eye bones, retinal detachment and partial to complete collapse of the eye ball.

On the other hand, canine eye injury caused by a sharp object may penetrate into the inner parts of the eye, causing partial to complete loss of function along with respective signs of dog eye problems.

Sharp dog eye injuries may be piercing, pointed and stab in nature. Dog eye injuries, caused by scratches, claws, nails, thorns, branches, airborne sharp objects and accidental penetration of any object into the eye are some examples of sharp dog eye injuries.

Clinical Symptoms of Dog Eye Injury:

The clinical appearance of canine eye injury depends not only upon the form of trauma, like blunt or sharp, but it also depends upon the status or the degree of the injury/wound. This may be minor to major in nature, affecting some or all parts of the eye. Also, in most cases, before clinical examination it is always recommended to have information regarding the history or how and when the dog eye trauma occurred, since it helps in identifying the possible cause, form, nature and degree of injury.

Many minor dog eye injuries may only exhibit signs of swelling, excessive tearing, bruising around the face, bleeding and eye cloudiness. On the other hand, in cases of major dog eye injury, extreme pain, reluctance to touch, swollen eyelids, heavy dog eye discharge and bleeding, increased darkened redness, anatomical deformities, blindness and wounds on the face are some key local symptoms. In cases where there are major dog eye injuries, generalized symptoms of such as lethargy, loss of appetite and possible injuries on other parts of body can also be noted.


Physical examination and a detailed history of the case is the initial step towards determining a diagnosis, which is followed by a series of procedures or tests to confirm the anatomical status and physiological ability of an injured dog eye.

It is always recommended that a dog go for a detailed physical and ophthalmic examination to ensure the exact status, nature and degree of dog eye injury. Along with a dog eye examination, the skull, nose, facial structures and all parts of the eye should be carefully examined by a veterinarian.

Additionally, dog eye tests often include x-rays of the skull, including the front part of the face (skull, nose, jaws, eye socket), ultrasound, neurological tests and basic ophthalmic tests (Tear test, Fluorescien test). These tests will help to confirm and identify all aspects of the dog eye problem, including any anatomical and physiological problems, especially in cases where there is a major canine eye injury.


On the basis of a detailed diagnosis, treatment should be initiated immediately, because structures in the eye and the eye itself is prone to secondary complications such as infection. Two main approaches, i.e. medical and surgical options are usually practiced for treating and resolving any anatomical deformities and damage to cellular layers in the eye.

Medical approaches may involve the use of specific drugs, regular dressing, therapeutics and post surgical critical care. An owner should carefully understand any care instructions and how to manage the dog eye condition at home.

Initially,, daily or weekly monitoring checkups are required which should be turned into monthly visits in later stages of the condition. It is recommended that the affected dog eye should be monitored for at least 1 – 2 years for normal function after injury and treatment.

At home, instructions provided by the veterinarian should be strictly followed. An owner should never try to treat a canine eye injury, surgically or medically. Additionally, home remedies and natural extracts should also only be used in consultation with a veterinarian. Patients should be kept in an isolated environment, which is clean. A dog should not be allowed to rub or scratch dog eye wounds. An Elizabethan collar can help to prevent additional dog eye scratches and rubbing.

Some remedies extracted from a natural or herbal base can help with dog eye cleaning and as a way of improving overall visual health and immunity. These can be used, but preferably after consulting a veterinarian regarding usage, since the impact and result will differ from case to case. There are three natural remedies that could potentially be of help that should be reviewed with your veterinarian: