You probably have seen eye discharge on the eyes of your dog. These are commonly known as eye boogers. Why does my dog have eye boogers? Well, the answer is not as simple as you may believe. It is actually more complex than most dog owners imagine and it is something most of you need to know about. This is usually a harmless thing, but there may be a severe issue that needs treatment. It all depends on the main cause.
Eye boogers: Main things to know
Why does my dog have eye boogers all the time? First of all, you need to know what eye boogers are. These are dried tears that consist of fats, mucus, and water. They catch various debris and they form eye boogers. Usually, these will trap dirt and pollen but you can see all kinds of small debris in the eye boogers.
During the entire life, tears are produced by tear glands. These are used to lubricate the eyes and make the eyelid work perfectly and also flush any debris that will be trapped inside. The water from the tears will easily be drained through the tear canal and it will end up in the nose. On the other hand, fats from the tears and debris are too thick and they cannot reach the nose. As such these will end up in the inner corner of the eye. This is how eye boogers are formed. These can also be called eye discharge or ocular discharge. Different vets call these different names.
Eye boogers: Different types
Believe it or not, eye boogers are not always the same. There are different types. Keep in mind that in the morning eye boogers will be more present than later in the day. This is done because during the night eye boogers cannot be removed from the eyes. Normal eye boogers are grey or white. But, if these are seen in a different color, it may mean that there is an issue causing this. Check out different types of eye boogers and diagnose your pet properly.
Watery or clear eye boogers
These are very common. As the name suggests, these are white, clear, and very watery. Usually, it means that there is a foreign object inside the eye or that allergy is present. An irritation or trauma can cause these as well. An ulcer may be a cause as well. Any obstruction of the tears and the tear canal and any hair causing this can be the main cause as well.
Excessive ocular discharge
In this scenario, we are going to see tears in rust color. These can be seen all over the face and they are caused by allergies or when something is rubbing the cornea. Your dog may have a red eye as well. Issues with the nasolacrimal ducts of the eyelids can cause this problem as well.
This is another type of eye boogers and they can be seen all the time. Basically, the water from the tears will be drained through the tear ducts. But, the fats and the debris won’t. They will be accumulated in the inner corner of the eye and dry out. That’s how you get the crust or the little goop present. You can use a wet cloth to remove these or you can use sterile saline.
Yellow and green eye boogers
These are not very common but are very severe. In this case, we are looking at a severe infection or health problem. Corneal infection is the most common issue here. Keratitis Conjunctiva Sicca can be the cause as well. Here we can see tear glands that are being destroyed by the immune system. Your dog will rub his or eyes, he will blink excessively and he may even keep his eyes shut. Green or yellow eye boogers will be seen all the time around the eyes and also on the face.
The conductivities here will affect the mucous membrane that covers the eyeball and it is very painful. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and also environmental factors. Proper and complicated treatment is needed and your dog needs one as soon as possible. In rare cases, blindness is possible!
Every single time when you notice certain symptoms such as eye rubbing, your dog keeping the eyes closed, and eye boogers that are not white or grey, you need to take your pet to a vet. Most of the health issues here are treatable and your dog will recover 100%. But, only if you start the treatment as soon as possible.
Why do dogs have excessive eye boogers?
Some dogs are known for having extremely high amounts of eye boogers. All dogs have these in large quantities in the morning. But, some have them all the time. A breed has a huge role in this. For instance, Labradors or all dogs that have deep eyes paired with the orbit have a low-grade discharge of this kind. On the other hand pugs have chronic discharge caused by the anatomy and the tear ducts that are completely different than other dogs have. In other words, some dog breeds have more eye boogers than others.
When a dog has an allergy or a foreign object inside the eye his eyes will make more eye boogers. This is perfectly normal and it is a symptom of something else. If you have a dog breed that doesn’t have a genetic predisposition to have too many eye boogers, this may be the cause.
The most common thing here is when the production of the tears is perfectly normal. However, the tear ducts will be clogged or they will be obstructed. In general, the tears won’t be able to be drained properly and your pet will develop excessive eye boogers.
Cleaning dog’s eye boogers properly
Now when you know most of the things related to eye boogers, we can see a common need. You need to remove the eye boogers on a regular basis. There are a few ways to do this. Always wash your hands before you start, regardless of which method you want to use. This eliminates the risk of any infection.
The first one is to use wet wipes that are designed for dogs. Yes, these do exist and they are usually the fastest and the most effective method. These are usually used for removing wet tears that are not hardened.
If your dog has hardened tears, you will have to use sterile saline and a clean cloth. Using a cotton ball is possible as well. In general, cotton balls can be used for this purpose. Using tap water in this scenario is not wise. First of all, water won’t be strong enough to make the dried tears soft. It can irritate the eye as well. Hence, sterile saline is the best way and the simplest one. First, make the tears soft and then remove them with a clean cloth.
A clean tissue can be used as well. You can use your hands if you like so. But, always wash them first. Yes, we have mentioned that already, but it is important hence we had to repeat ourselves here.
Excessive eye boogers in dogs: Possible treatments
Why does my dog have eye boogers in huge amounts? Well, usually there is a problem hidden somewhere and you will need to use a treatment. There are a lot of options in this case scenario and today we are going to reveal all of them. Of course, the treatment will depend on the condition your dog has hence we must look at these as well.
Most of the infections will require you to give antibiotics to your pet. These come in many forms and there are many variations. But, all of them must be prescribed by a vet. If you do not help your dog on time, the corneal layers will be damaged and this requires surgery!
The dry eye will be usually treated with artificial tears and medications. Sadly, these can last only 5-30 minutes hence they are not a very appealing method. The goal here is to treat the eyes with artificial tears until medications solve the problem. They are designed to recover the tear glands and restore balance.
Dog allergies in the eyes are not easy to treat. A vet will prescribe the use of steroids or antihistamines. These are given topically. But it is crucial to make sure there are no infections before you start. These medications can promote the infection and make it worse.
The final word
Why does my dog have eye boogers and what should I do about it? Well, now you know. There are many causes and there are many treatments. All you have to know is that all dogs with excessive eye boogers need some kind of treatment. Normal eye boogers in normal amounts are harmless and all you have to do is to wipe them and you are done. Eyes are extremely sensitive and important hence you must help your pet maintain proper health of the eyes all the time.
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