What causes eye discharge in dogs? What’s the treatment?
Original Question: Oobie appears to have an eye infection. There is a discharge and crustiness around the eye. I would like to bathe it but he is not too cooperative when it comes to touching his face. How can I do this and still retain my fingers? Does he need antibiotic eye drops? Any advice would be helpful. - Chris
Thanks for your question.
It sounds like you are observing a significant amount of crusting occurring around the eye. When there is inflammation, infection or any type of disease related to the eye, there can be an excessive discharge that gets into the hair and causes it to stick together, crust and become difficult to wash off. On occasion, I have had to shave the hair around the eye (very carefully) to remove the crusted hair and expose the eye in order to determine the cause of the excessive discharge and the treatment.
There are many scenarios that could cause eye discharge in dogs like this. Any type of infection, inflammation, trauma, lack of tear production, allergic reaction, or ocular disease could cause symptoms like these. When this occurs they often squint their eye (also known as blepharospasm) and it can discharge some material. For example, a scratched cornea is particularly painful and can cause excessive canine eye discharge and crusting. If an infection has set in, you may see a yellow to green discharge from the eye. A bacterial infection is a common occurrence which can be treated with simple over the counter antibiotic eye drops, however, there could be something more complicated occurring that is the primary cause and the infection is simply a secondary issue. I would highly recommend that you see your veterinarian and have a physical exam performed because it’s obvious that something is wrong. The longer it goes on without treatment, the worse it could get and the harder to treat later. For example, I have seen simple issues with the eye progress to such a serious condition that the eye has to be removed in the worst case scenarios that have been allowed to progress chronically. I recommend you visit your veterinarian to have them diagnose it properly and come up with the appropriate treatment.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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