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December 7, 2023

Common eye problems in dogs: How they caused and common symptoms

Just like humans, dogs also rely on their vision for daily activities. So, as a responsible pet owners, it is crucial to be aware of all the common eye problems that can affect our beloved dogs. Yes, its indeed true that dogs can also experience a variety of eye problems like humans that may cause discomfort, vision impairment, and even blindness in extreme situations. Eye problems in dogs is not among the >common diseases found in dogs as it cannot be caused by any ordinary activity that a dog performs in their daily lives. Still, there are chances that your dog might experience an eye infection that can cause severe discomfort to your beloved partner. Understanding these common types of dog eye infections can help you detect them early and seek appropriate veterinary care. In this blog, we will discuss common eye problems in dogs.

Here is the list of top 14 types of dog eye infections: 




  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

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Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common eye condition in dogs that can lead to loss of dog eyesight. It involves inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelids and the whites of the eyes. Treatment often involves prescribed eye drops or ointments, along with proper hygiene to prevent further irritation.

Causes: Conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies, infections, irritants, or foreign bodies. 

Symptoms: Most common symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness, discharge, squinting, and frequent pawing at the eyes. 

  • Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers refer to scratches or erosions on the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye. This is another common problem found in dogs. If your dog has this problem, they might need prompt veterinary attention. According to reports, untreated cases of corneal ulcers lead to severe complications. The vet will probably suggest using protective eye patches, or even surgery in severe cases.

Causes: Trauma, foreign objects, or underlying conditions. 

Symptoms: Common symptoms of corneal ulcers in dogs include squinting, excessive tearing, redness, and sometimes a visible cloudy or opaque spot on the cornea. 

  • Cataracts

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Cataracts in dogs are characterized by the clouding of the lens within the eye, leading to impaired vision. While cataracts can develop due to genetic predisposition, there are many other reason of this problem. In order to ensure a successful recovery, treatment typically involves surgical removal of the cataract.

Causes: Diabetes, old age, or eye trauma

Symptoms: A cloudy or bluish appearance in the eye, difficulty navigating obstacles, and changes in behavior. 

  • Glaucoma

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Glaucoma in dogs is the most severe eye disease that a dog may encounter. This eye problem occurs when there is increased pressure within the eye, leading to damage of the optic nerve and potential vision loss. Primary glaucoma can be inherited, while secondary glaucoma may develop due to other eye conditions or systemic diseases. Immediate veterinary attention is necessary to alleviate pain and preserve vision, if you have detect any signs of glaucoma in your dog. Further treatment options include medication, surgery, or a combination of both.

Causes: Inadequate drainage or overproduction of aqueous fluid in eyes. 

Symptoms: Common symptoms of glaucoma include redness, pain, dilated pupils, and a cloudy or hazy appearance in the eye. 




  • Epiphora

Epiphora in dogs refers to excessive tearing or watery eyes, and its treatment varies depending on the underlying cause. It can either involve medication, flushing of the tear ducts, or surgery if necessary. Make sure to get a proper veterinary evaluation to accurately diagnose the cause and manage the situation.

Causes: Blocked tear ducts, eye infections, allergies, or structural abnormalities

Symptoms:  Tear staining, redness, and discomfort. 

Suggested Read: >Common Dog Behaviors

  • Cherry Eye

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Cherry eye is a condition in dogs where the gland of the third eyelid becomes prolapsed and appears as a red, fleshy mass in the corner of the eye. While the exact cause is still unknown, it is more common in certain breeds of dogs that woo when they are under one year old. Cherry eye can cause. Cherry eye treatment typically involves surgical repositioning of the gland to restore normal eye function.

Causes: The exact cause of this eye disease in dog is still unknown.

Symptoms: Irritation, dryness, and potential secondary infections.

  • Distichia

Distichia is a condition in dogs in which eyelashes grow abnormally from the inner surface of the eyelid, irritating the cornea. Treatments for distichia include manual removal of the extra lashes, cryotherapy, or electrolysis. A veterinary evaluation is necessary to determine the severity of the problem and provide appropriate management.

Causes: This is a genetic issue in dogs that happens during conception.

Symptoms: Redness, excessive tearing, squinting, and discomfort

  • Ectropion

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Ectropion in dogs is a condition in which the eyelid droops or rolls outward, exposing the sensitive conjunctiva and inner eyelid. You will see this problem in certain breeds with loose facial skin. This problem can be treated using topical lubricants. Moreover, the vet will recommend using medications to reduce inflammation, or surgery to correct the eyelid position.

Causes: Caused due to genetic defect in the hereditary lineage

Symptoms: Irritation, redness, and increased susceptibility to eye infections 




  • Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca)

Dry eye, the most common eye infection in dogs, occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears to keep them adequately lubricated. This can result in inflammation, discomfort, and potential damage to the cornea. Dry eye treatment involves artificial tears, medicated eye drops, or, in severe cases, surgical procedures to stimulate tear production.

Causes: This issue develops when the tear gland is unable to produce enough tears to keep the eye moist.

Symptoms: Symptoms of dry eyes in dogs include redness, discharge, squinting, and frequent pawing at the eyes.

  • Red Eye

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The red eye in dogs refers to the appearance of redness in the white part of the eyes. Proper veterinary evaluation is essential for dogs suffering from red eye. It will help dog owner to identify the exact cause of teh problem and provide appropriate treatment to alleviate the redness 

Causes: Conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, glaucoma, uveitis (inflammation of the uvea), or the presence of foreign bodies can be the cause of red eyes in dogs

Symptoms: Pain, redness, and irritated eyes. Dogs will also squint often, blink excessively, or hold their eyes shut

  • Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a condition in dogs that occurs when the thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye (retina) separates from its underlying supportive structures. It can cause sudden vision loss or impairment. Retinal detachment is an emergency condition requiring immediate veterinary attention, and treatment options depend on the severity and underlying cause.

Symptoms: Common symptoms of retinal detachment include dilated pupils, changes in behavior, and disorientation. 

  • Keratitis

Keratitis in dogs refers to the inflammation of the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye. Its treatment typically involves medication, such as eye drops or ointments, to reduce inflammation. Also, a veterinary evaluation is necessary to determine the severity of keratitis and provide appropriate treatment options for your dog’s specific condition.

Causes: Infections, trauma, or allergies

Symptoms: Symptoms of keratitis include redness, pain, squinting, excessive tearing, and light sensitivity. 

  • Blindness

Blindness is a condition in dogs in which a dog completely loses his eyesight. This can be the result of any injury, cataracts, retinal degeneration, glaucoma, trauma, or any other medical condition. While certain conditions leading to blindness may be irreversible, others may be managed with medical interventions or surgeries.

Causes: This can be caused due to cataracts, glaucoma, retinal degeneration, or trauma.

Symptoms: Signs of blindness in dogs include bumping into objects, disorientation, changes in behavior, and decreased visual responsiveness. 

  • Entropion

Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea, leading to irritation, redness, and potential corneal ulcers. It can be congenital or acquired. Treatment may involve surgical correction to reposition the eyelid and prevent further discomfort.

Causes: Entropion in dogs can be caused by genetics, excessive facial skin folds, age-related changes, or scarring/injury around the eye area.

Symptoms: Symptoms of entropion in dogs include eye irritation, redness, excessive tearing, squinting, and discomfort.

Final thoughts:

Being vigilant about our dog’s eye health is essential for their overall well-being. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of common eye problems will allow pet owners to seek timely veterinary care. Moreover, you should take your beloved companion for regular eye examinations and practice good eye hygiene to maintain clear and healthy vision for their entire life. Remember to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options for any eye problems your dog may experience rather than taking action on your own.

 Suggested Read :> If your dog is suffering from arthritis?

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