Dog Eye Discharge

Eye discharge is a rather common symptom associated mostly with eye problems, such as trauma to the eye, corneal ulcers, conjunctivitis, and more. Depending on the cause, the eye discharge can be clear and watery, or it can be yellowish-green mucous, or it can be bloody.

Bernese Mountain Dog It is not unusual for dogs to have a bit of "gunk" collected in the corner of the eye. It is just a normal response of the eye to get rid of the day-to-day foreign matter that a dog is exposed to. Tearing is a bodily function to flush and clear away the accumulated foreign matter.

However, further attention and possibly treatment are needed if your dog shows any of the following symptoms:

  • There is excessive and recurring tearing
  • The eye discharge is yellowish or green
  • The eye discharge is mucoid-like
  • The eye discharge is bloody
  • The tissues surrounding the eye are red and irritated

Abnormal dog eye discharge may develop suddenly or gradually. By looking at the amount of discharge, we can tell how serious the problem is. Generally speaking, the more eye discharge a dog has, the more serious is the eye disease.

Causes of Eye Discharge in Dogs
and Natural Remedies That May Help

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Possible Causes of Eye Discharge in Dogs

There are numerous possible causes of dog eye discharge; most of the time the discharge is an indication that there is some problem with the dog's eye. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dry eyes
  • Glaucoma
  • Cherry eye
  • Infection of different parts of the eye (e.g. the eye surface, the cornea, the eyelids, the iris)
  • Obstruction of tear drainage ducts
  • Excessive tear production
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Entropion (Inversion of the eyelids)
  • Lens luxation (displacement)
  • Trauma and injury to the eye

Sometimes, however, health problems unrelated to the eyes can also cause eye discharge in dogs. For example, a dog suffering from allergies (e.g. atopy) may have eye discharge. Bacterial or viral Infections (e.g. distemper, kennel cough) can also cause a dog to have eye discharge. If your dog has eye discharge and other symptoms, be sure to inform your veterinarian.

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What to Do If Your Dog Has Eye Discharge?

If you notice any abnormal eye discharge in your dog, put on a pair of clean rubber gloves and examine your dog's eyes and take note of the color of the discharge and check for any injury or mass near the eyes.

If your dog is otherwise healthy, showing no other symptoms, and behaving normally in spite of the discharge, try to first clean the eye and flush it with a sterile saline solution. Closely observe your dog and the eye condition in a day or two to see if there is any improvement. If not, visit the vet.

If, on the other hand, your dog is bothered by the discharge (e.g. he is rubbing and scratching his eye repeatedly), or if you can see injury in or near the eye, get your dog to the vet immediately.

Never use human over-the-counter eye drops to treat your dog.

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Herbs for Dog Eye Discharge

Herbal eyewashes can be used to clean and protect your dog's precious eyes. Herbs that are good for eyes include:

  • Chamomile: This gentle herb is versatile and has various functions, one of which is anti-inflammatory. An infusion of this herb, carefully strained through a paper coffee filter, can be added to a sterile saline solution and used as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial eyewash.
  • Goldenseal: Goldenseal has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and is effective for irritations and infections of the eyes.
  • Echinacea: Taken internally, echinacea boosts the immune system. Used topically, it has anti-inflammatory properties and is effective for infections.
  • Gotu Kola: Used topically, this herb also has anti-inflammatory properties and it promotes healing of blood vessels, connective tissue and skin.


Great Herbal Products for Dog Eye Discharge

This is a soothing, all-natural eye wash that contains such herbs as goldenseal, echinacea, gotu kola that can protect and strengthen your dog's eyes. It is great for removing debris and the "gooey" substance that builds up in the mucous membranes of the dog's eyes.

This is a great Chinese herbal remedy for dogs with eye conditions such as eye infections/inflammation, dry eyes, conjunctivitis, cloudy eyes, etc. It contains Chinese herbs (such as chrysanthemum, rehmannia, cassia seed) that have traditionally been used to treat eye problems. Very effective!

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Preventing Dog Eye Discharge and Eye Injuries

Abnormal dog eye discharge can be prevented by taking some simple measures to protect the overall eye health in your dog. For example:

  • Make it a habit to check your dog's eyes on a regular basis.
  • If your dog has long facial hair, trim the hair around the eye area regularly so that the hair will not cause any irritation to the eyes.
  • As much as possible, keep your dog away from allergens and irritants such as pollen, plant seeds, toxins, chemicals, dust and air pollution.
  • While traveling in a car, usually keep your dog's head inside the vehicle to avoid foreign objects getting inside in the eye.

In addition, your dog's diet is important in maintaining eye health. Feed your dog an all natural diet. To strengthen and protect the eyes, be sure to include supplements of antioxidants in the form of vitamins E and C, and beta carotene.

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