Dog Eye Care: A step-by-step guide to caring for your dog’s eyes
Dog eye care is essential because a dog’s eyes are susceptible to many common eye problems, as well as infections arising from dirt, grit, and other foreign objects getting into their eyes. Unlike us, they cannot rub or rinse their eyes. It’s down to you, the pet-owner to ensure good eye health for your dog.
Dog Eye Care: Common Eye Conditions
- Conjunctivitis. The most common canine eye infection is conjunctivitis. Symptoms include redness around the eye and a yellow or greenish discharge. If you see these signs, have your dog treated by a vet. A prescription ointment will clear the infection up in no time.
- Cataracts. Cataracts are a common condition which causes clouding of the lens and, over time, it can lead to total blindness. It is particularly prevalent in older dogs.
- Glaucoma. This occurs when irritants or foreign bodies become lodged in the eye. The constant irritation can lead to ulceration of the cornea and resulting damage to the surrounding tissue. Check your dog’s eyes thoroughly during your weekly grooming routine and remove grit with a damp cotton ball.
- Epiphora. Certain breeds are prone to epiphora, a constant leaking of lachrymal fluid from the tear ducts. This shows up as tear stains in breeds like Poodles, Maltese, and Cockers. The tearstained area can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and the constant tearing can lead to blindness in older dogs.
- Cornea Damage. Dogs with long hair around the eyes can have problems with the hair actually causing scratches to the cornea (the clear membrane covering the surface of the eye).
Always keep the hair trimmed, using a blunt-nosed scissors and cutting parallel to the edge of the eyelid.
Dog Eye Care Cleaning Steps
- Using a blunt-nosed scissors, carefully trim the hair around the dog’s eyes, making sure to remove any foreign objects and matted hair.
- Clean the corners of the dog’s eyes of any mucus. Use a cotton ball dampened with a saline solution. Swab away from the eye not towards it to ensure that dirt is not swept back into the dog’s eye.
- Repeat the process for the other eye using a fresh cotton ball.
- For dogs that commonly have tearstains (Poodles, Cocker Spaniels etc) use a tearstain remover such as Show Eyes Solution or Pads, to clean the affected areas.
Dog Eye Care Supplies
- Grooming Comb
- Blunt-nosed scissors
- Saline solution
- Tear stain remover (if required)
- Cotton wool
Dog eye care is important because eyes are delicate organs and adequate attention should be paid to cleaning and care for them.