Common Eye Problems In Dogs

Dog Looking Up At The Camera

June 29, 2022

Eye problems can be painful for our dogs if they develop one. These illnesses can include corneal damage, conjunctivitis, or a glaucoma. It can become more and more painful and if left untreated could even lead to vision loss!

No matter how minor it seems, it’s always best to get eye problems addressed as soon as you’re aware of them. While it may not look like much to us, it could be extremely uncomfortable for your dog as damage progresses in their eye.

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Like humans, dogs can also develop pink eye (conjunctivitis) and display similar symptoms to it.

These symptoms can be redness, inflammation, and a gooey discharge caused by either bacteria or viruses. Your vet can prescribe an anti-bacterial solution to help clear it up if it’s bacterial.

Alternatively, it can also be brought on by seasonal allergies, such as hay fever.  If it’s a seasonal condition, then your vet can once again come to your dog’s rescue with hay fever medication or a saline solution to relieve their itchy eyes.

Corneal Damage

Corneal damage can be caused in several different ways to your pooch. Unfortunately, we’re unable to cover them in bubble wrap and watch them every minute of every day.

Corneas can become damaged through the simple act of scratching with their claws, getting caught on plants or just by a foreign object finding its way into the eye.

Keep an eye out for any redness, excessive tearing, or your pet pawing at their irritated eye.  If any of these symptoms arise, book an appointment with your vet to have them assess the extent of the damage caused.

The vet can apply a green dye called Fluorescein, which will be used to see the full extent of the damage which may have been caused by the foreign object in their eye.


If left untreated this eye condition can lead to blindness. Glaucoma is caused by an excess amount of fluid build-up in the eye and it not draining effectively, the pressure built-up in the eye can damage the optic nerve as well as the retina.

If you believe that your dog has Glaucoma, they may show symptoms like continuously trying to rub their eye on anything, fluttering eyelids, swollen eye, or a cloudy cornea.

This is a very painful condition which can get serious if missed. Primary glaucoma is the result of built-up fluid and is usually hereditary, whereas secondary glaucoma is nonhereditary and is known to be more common than its primary counterpart.

Tumours, cataracts, lens luxation and infections can trigger secondary Glaucoma!


This can be another painful and uncomfortable condition for your dog. In this case, the eyelid is known to roll inwards on itself. As a result, the eyelashes and other hair around the eye rub against the cornea and irritate it, damaging the outer part of it.

This can lead to corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis. This can also affect both upper and lower lids and has been observed in one or both eyes at the same time.

If you spot this with your canine, you must consult your vet immediately before it gets worse and causes your dog to become blind.

Dry Eye

Also known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, but this is a lot harder to say than dry eye so I think we will stick with this term.

Dry eye is where the eye is not producing enough tears and any foreign bodies in the eye cannot be flushed out. This can scratch the cornea or create ulcers and is very uncomfortable.

Symptoms are redness of the eye, excessive squinting, and a continuous pawing of their eye.

If you believe that your dog is suffering from dry eye, then, again consult your vet for treatment. Depending on how bad it may be, they may recommend treatments like artificial tears in a drop form to relieve the eye.

Cherry Eye

Did you know that dogs actually have a third eyelid?! With a healthy eye, this is usually hiding on the inside corner of their eye.

The third eyelid also has a tear duct inside and helps keep the eye hydrated and aids with flushing any debris out. However, when a problem occurs with the third eyelid, it’s much easier to spot.

This is a condition where the ligaments holding the third eyelid up out of the way become weak and struggle to support it as efficiently and it becomes prolapsed outside of the eye.

When this happens, your dog will have a small pink bulge in the corner of their eye which may appear cherrylike. This can be temporary or not and could be developed in either eye.

Whilst these are only 6 common problems our dogs can develop with their eyes, there are many more out there in which your dog can develop.

Like we mentioned earlier, if you have any concerns about their eyes, no matter how big or small they may be, don’t be afraid to speak to someone regarding your concerns.

When you are choosing a new dog, it is recommended to do some research to see if the breed is susceptible to any eye conditions as certain problems are more common in specific breeds.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our furry best friends’ eyes!

They only get one pair so we must help look after them, even when they get themselves into mischief…

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