Eye discharge in dogs: Vet's guide to causes and treatment
Wondering whether eye discharge in dogs is normal or a sign of a deeper problem?
A little discharge from the eyes can be quite normal in dogs. However, if the amount of discharge suddenly increases or changes color, then this can be a sign that something is wrong.
Normal discharge from dogs’ eyes usually looks like tears – thin, runny, and clear. Sometimes this will then dry out and form small crusts at the corner of dogs’ eyes.
Occasionally, dogs can have some mucus-y discharge, which is thicker and may be clear, cream or yellow in color. A small amount of this discharge can be normal, but larger amounts may suggest that there is a problem.
There are many different causes of eye discharge in dogs. These can include:
Infections (bacteria or viruses)
A blocked tear duct
“Dry Eye” (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca)
Corneal ulcers (serious damage to the surface of the eye)
Uveitis (inflammation within the eye – which can be a sign of serious illness
You should see a veterinarian if one or more of these is true:
Your dog has yellow, green, or red discharge
Your dog has more eye discharge than normal – even if the discharge looks the same
Your dog is pawing at their eyes or rubbing their face along the floor or across the furniture
There is swelling around your dog’s eye
Your dog is holding the eye partly or fully closed
You can see something trapped in your dog’s eye
There is a bump, dip, scratch, or other change to the surface of your dog’s eye
You can see small blood vessels growing across the surface of your dog’s eye
If you don’t see any of these signs and your dog has regular eye discharge, or some crusting at the corner of the eyes, then you can clean around their eyes to keep them comfortable. To do this, you can use aloe vera eye wipes. Be sure to clean your hands both before and after doing this to prevent transferring bacteria between yourself and your dog’s eye.
Eye discharge in dogs is very common, and not always a cause for concern. However, some causes of eye discharge can be serious and may be painful for your dog if not treated quickly. If you are unsure if your dog’s eye discharge is normal, you should see your veterinarian for advice.