Dog Eye Boogers – what are they and when should I worry?

eye booger

Throughout the day, your dog’s eyes produce tears in order to keep the cornea and conjunctiva surfaces lubricated and healthy.

But, while those tears will then drain down your dog’s tear ducts, other substances that gather on and around the surface of your dog’s eyes such as mucus, dust, oil, and other debris …can’t.

Tears will then stockpile around the eyes and eventually form a crust or a bit of gunk. Then, voila! You’ve got yourself a totally normal eye booger.

What are the different types of dog eye boogers? 

Grayish-White Discharge

Everyone, even our pets, can get a case of dry eye. It’s only when it becomes a chronic condition that we should be worried. It’s also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS.

When a dog experiences chronic dry eyes, they suffer a dramatic reduction in tear production and natural lubrication. To make up for those lost tears, the eye will then begin producing more mucus.  It results as a discharge that’s grayish white in color.

Unfortunately, when eyes lose their ability to readily produce tears, they also lose their natural defense mechanism against irritants or infections. This can lead to intense irritation and the formation of ulcers. If left untreated, KCS can even cause blindness.

There are many conditions that cause KCS. It usually occurs when your dog’s immune system attacks and destroys the glands that produce tears. Other common causes include eye infections or side effects of anesthesia or antibiotics. However, there’s no way to visually know what’s causing the condition. So, if your dog’s eyes are filled with gray-white discharge, it’s time to take them to a vet

Too many tears

Suffering from a constantly watering eye is known as epiphora. It’s the result of tear ducts not being able to properly dispose of excess tears. If left untreated, these overly abundant tears can cause the skin around your dog’s eyes to become infected. Or worse, smelly!

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to discern the exact cause of excess tearing. Epiphora can be caused by a myriad of underlying problems ranging in severity from a foreign object being stuck in the eye or eyelashes growing where they shouldn’t, all the way up to serious conditions like conjunctivitis and even glaucoma.

Accordingly, if you notice your dog is tearing up a lot, it is best to err on the side of caution and have them evaluated by a veterinarian.

“Poodle Stains”

Some white and light-colored dogs are prone to developing what are referred to as “poodle stains”.

These are reddish-brown tear stains that discolor the fur around your dog’s eyes and down the muzzle.

Luckily, poodle stains aren’t typically a cause for concern however, it’s best to remember that all the excess moisture of those stained areas are ripe for developing infections. So be sure to keep that area as clean and dry as you can.

Green or yellow discharge

Green or yellow eye discharge is terrible for two reasons: it’s very unsightly, and it’s typically a symptom of an underlying eye infection such as conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis is when the mucus membranes of your dog’s eyes become inflamed. Besides developing green or yellow discharge, dogs who are suffering from conjunctivitis may also present with red eyes, swelling around the eyes, or general discomfort accompanied by pawing at their face.

As with many other types of eye boogers discussed here, it’s best to err on the side of caution if you suspect your dog may be suffering from conjunctivitis and seek veterinarian assistance..

How to clean eye boogers safely

Whether your dog’s eye boogers are normal, or whether they’re so hideous and bothersome that you need a super vet to fix them, Banixx Pet Care should be a part of your regular grooming care process. This may be a good time to look into making your own Pet Wipes.  Yes, it’s really easy and inexpensive, just click here Pet Wipes.

Not only is this a clinically-proven restorative solution that’s safe to use around the eyes, but it provides no-sting relief without any lasting effects on your dog’s eye health.

What To Do About Dog Eye Discharge

As we mentioned, a certain amount of eye discharge is completely normal. If your dog doesn’t seem bothered by the boogers in their eyes, all you have to do is wipe them away. However, sometimes you need a veterinarian to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if your dog has excessive eye boogers or seems really irritated by the discharge accumulating in their eyes.

This is especially true if your dog develops more worrying symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, a bad smell emanating from their eyes, or eye discharge that impedes their eyelids from opening and closing.

Remember: early veterinary intervention, particularly when it comes to eyes, is not only the best course but, it very often ends up being the far less expensive way.


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