Maintaining Dog Eye Health

There are many factors that can cause problems in the eyes of man’s best friend, the dog. Many pet owners do not realize the need or importance of daily care for their dog’s eyes. Dog’s eyes are sensitive and require attention everyday to prevent against infections, disorders and trauma. Smaller breeds of dog have even more difficulties with their eye health.

Infections are the most common problems found in the eye health of dogs. A daily hygienic routine for your dog will ensure the best method of prevention against infections. Some ideas to incorporate into the daily routine to keep your dog’s eyes clean and maintain a low risk of infection is listed below.

First, a good idea is to trim the hair surrounding the dog’s eyes. Use safety scissors, also known as rounded-tipped scissors. Reducing the chance for the hair around the eye to scrape it, will not only prevent irritation but will prevent bacteria on the hair follicles to enter the eye area. Another routine to follow is the flushing out of mucus build-up in the eye. Mucus in the eye can be a feasting ground for bacteria, so removing it with a sterile veterinary eyewash will not allow bacteria to grow in the eyes. Of special note: Tear stains occur on some dogs who do not have the ability to drain tears from a tear duct. The tears therefore drip from the eye onto the hairs and staining them. Again, trimming the hairs around the eyes can prevent the staining and also alleviate the chance of bacteria on the eyes.

Cleanliness is important to your dog’s eye health, but safety can also play a large part in the health of a canine’s eyes. Removing the chances for occasions where trauma may occur to your dog’s eyes is common sense. For example, allowing your dog to get into fights with other animals or allowing access to irritating substances is an obvious cause of problems to many parts of the dog’s body including the eyes. A lesser known problematic condition can come from allowing your dog to hang its head out the window of a moving vehicle. Small particles can enter the canine’s eyes and ears at a rapid rate driving down the road. Bigger sources of irritation may be trees or bushes or debris outside the vehicle window.

What if you have followed these safety and cleanliness tips, but your dog appears to have an irritation or a problem? Do not delay in making a trip to the dog’s veterinarian for a look at the problem in the eye or eyes. If the problem is caused by a bacteria, the veterinarian will treat the eyes with an antibiotic solution or ointment. Conjunctivitis is the most common eye infection in dogs. The symptoms of conjunctivitis are eye redness and is usually accompanied by a yellowish to greenish discharge.

If your dog has a problem with its eyes, it may have a problem leaving them alone so a cone collar may be needed. Making sure your dog isn’t trying to scratch will allow the eyes to heal themselves faster. Your veterinarian is the best qualified individual to treat the eye problems of your dog and will make the best recommendations for routine care in preventing future problems. Following these suggestions on a daily basis will reduce the chances for your dog to have infections, trauma or a disorder in the eyes. The importance of a daily routine for the eyes of your dog will be beneficial for all involved.


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