Eye: Watery Eyes


Watery eyes in dogs can be directly or indirectly related to a dog eye condition. Most commonly, excessive tearing or dog watery eyes is caused by irritation, which is caused either by allergens, infectious agents (bacteria, viruses or fungus), parasites (eye-worms), foreign particles and some pressure on the eyes.

Tears are produced constantly in a dog eye, which keeps the eye surface moist and lubricated. On the other hand, tears, while flowing, keeps the surface clear of any irritant or allergen, and in cases of allergy, infection, intrusion, pain etc, tears are produced in excess, leaving a dog with watery eyes. This is the most common logic for dog watery eyes, but it is not always as simple or direct as it seems.

In chronic and/or complicated conditions, such as chronic viral infections, anatomical deformities, entropion, etc can cause irritation and pain on the eye surface. Similarly, some deeper infections and tumorous developments can cause pressure and pain, leaving excessive tear production. Another condition, called epiphora, which is truly excessive tear production is related to the overflow of tears; in this condition, the eye surface might appear dry and tears flow off from the tract over the nose and face. Epiphora has different forms, which are described according to the cause and nature of the blockage, i.e. Nasolacrimal Occlusion.

Another common cause of watery eyes in dogs is a minor cold or any ENT – Ear/Nose/Throat infection, which keeps excess tears flowing, along with other signs of respiratory system and ear duct problems.


Dogs with watery eyes represent an irritation in the eye, which indicates the presence of an underlying condition of the eye specifically. This can be anything, from allergy to infections and more complicated anatomical deformities and tumorous developments. Along with watery eyes, a dog may show other symptoms too, these may be eye discharges in advanced infections, redness, severe irritation, pain, excessive blinking of eyes, rubbing and scratching and discomfort.

On the other hand, if the canine watery eyes are caused by an upper respiratory or ear infection, relative symptoms will be present that are associated with those systems. One complication, is that dogs with watery eyes experience severe discomfort, therefore they might scratch and rub the eyes, causing self injury. This may lead to severe conditions such as corneal ulcers, damage to the eye ball, facial bruises and aggressive behavior when approached.


A clinical examination and history of the condition helps in deciding the nature of the condition, followed by a detailed opthalmologic examination. This is done in day light, with help of specific equipment. All parts of the eye are carefully examined, and if required certain laboratory tests such as isolation, culturing, tear tests and radiographs are taken for confirmation.

In chronic cases, it is always recommended that a dog go to a veterinarian for a detailed diagnosis. Some veterinarians may misunderstand it as a minor condition, but in most cases, it has been noted that chronic cases of dog watery eyes have some severe eye or related condition at the back end.


Any underlying cause should be carefully identified and treated accordingly. A thorough clinical examination and laboratory tests will surely reveal the exact cause of the dog eye problem, but in most cases even if the exact condition is not related to an allergy or an infection, secondary infections and intrusion by foreign allergens is certain to be present. This occurs due to ascending microbial infections from the face and constant rubbing or scratching by an affected dog.

Therefore, along with specific treatment, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are mandatory, which are administered in almost every case. The selection of such therapeutics should be done with care, since improper handling can lead to secondary complications, including partial to complete loss of eye function. Therefore, a veterinarian should only attend to and treat such eye problems.

Along with any specific treatment recommended, extreme care is required. A patient should not be allowed to rub or scratch its eye and face.

The eye surface should be kept clean and dry (up to normal moisture) during treatment. Natural remedies such as Eye Heal or supportive eye drops prescribed by a veterinarian and eye pads surely can help to keep an affected eye surface and face free of allergens and microbes. A natural remedy such as i-Clenz can also be used to keep the areas around the eyes and clean. Also, if the dog watery eyes is due to sinus problems, a natural remedy such as Sinu-Rite could be of some help in reducing any congestion and related symptoms such as canine watery eyes.