Dog eye health is a serious concern for dog owners, dog eye problems can range from somewhat irritating to downright dangerous. Some common eye problems that you may or may not have heard of include pink eye, red eye, in-grown eyelids, corneal ulcers, cataracts, and general irritation and injury. This guide provides you with information about common dog eye problems, the signs and possible treatments. This guide is a great starting point and reference piece, but remember it is always a good idea to seek the advice of your veterinarian for any dog health issues.
A dog will usually make it quite clear if he is suffering from a eye health problem. He may squint or turn away from bright light, or he might blink excessively or rub his eyes with his paws or by rubbing his face on the ground. You should also check for bulging eyes, redness, cloudiness or discharge.
The following steps may help prevent dog eye health problems:
1. A healthy diet, including supplements is the first place to start. There are many foods that are beneficial for dog eye health, including leafy green vegetables, blue or purple berries, carrots, sesame and sunflower seeds. Supplements that you may want to try include Zinc, Vitamins A, D and C, and Bioflavonoids, Pycnogenols,(remember to speak to your dog's veterinarian before giving your dog any foods or supplements).
2. Be sure to clean away the discharge, or "gunk" away from your dog's eyes. Using a warm, wet washcloth or clean cotton ball wipe outward away from the inside corner of the eyes. Ideally you should clean your dog's eyes daily to avoid buildup.
3. If the fur around your dog's eyes gets too long it can actually scratch the surface of his eyes which could lead to irritation or infection. Fur around the eyes can also allow the eye gunk to build up making it more difficult to clean. Keep the fur around his eyes trimmed to avoid these problems. If you trim the fur yourself, always point the scissors downward, away from your dogs eyes.
4. Don't tell your dog I told you this - but don't let her stick her head out the car window while you're driving. I know, this is one of a dog's favorite things, but it can be quite dangerous. The wind can irritate a dog's eyes, or debris could blow into his eyes and cause injury. A safer alternative is to open your windows just enough to allow your dog to enjoy the wind and the scents, but not get her head out.
5. Avoid grooming products that might be irritating to your dog's eyes. It can be very helpful to search for dog shampoo reviews when shopping for shampoo. You can find out what other dog owners think about a product before you buy it. You also want to look for natural, organic dog shampoos to make sure you are using the healthiest ingredients possible for your dog.
6. Another product to protect your dog's eyes is dog goggles, or "doggles". If you just can't bear the thought of not letting your dog stick her head out the window, dog goggles are an option to protect her eyes. Dog goggles are nice to have on hand in case your dog does sustain an injury or need eye surgery, they can protect his eyes from further irritation and shield them from bright lights while his eyes are extra sensitive.
Even if you clean your eyes every day, use only natural, organic dog shampoo and feed her the healthiest diet possible, she may still have eye health issues.
The following list is some possible treatment options:
1. Calling your vet should be your first step. Based on your observations, your vet can let you know if you need to bring your dog in for an office visit.
2. Look at your dog's eyes, if you can see a foreign object floating around, try to wash it out with artificial tears or a saline solution.
3. Don't ever try to pull anything out of your dog's eye yourself. If you see something stuck or lodged in your dog's eye call your veterinarian right away. Once something is removed from the eye it becomes susceptible to infection, so you want to be at the vet who will be able to treat it properly. Removing the object yourself can also cause further damage.
4. A damp warm compress may be helpful to soothe inflamed, sore eyes. Apply the compress to each eye for five minutes. You can alternate eyes if your dog doesn't like having both eyes covered at the same time. Be sure to use a clean cloth every time.
5. You may not be aware of this, but fleas and ticks can cause eye health problems for your dog. They can cause conjunctivitis also known as pink eye. Keeping your dog protected from fleas and ticks can keep their eyes healthy.
6. If your dog does have an eye irritation or injury, you will need to protect her by wearing an Elizabethan collar, commonly known as a cone. Otherwise your dog may continue to rub or scratch her eye causing further injury and irritation.
Taking care of your dog's eye health is very important. By following these prevention guidelines and taking the necessary steps if your dog does have an eye health issue, you can ensure your dog a long, happy life of playing fetch and chasing rabbits!
Diva Toolbox Contributor, Joy Randel is the owner of Dazzle Dog Delight, an online store that offers a variety of high quality dog products. You can find everything from designer dog bathrobes to organic dog shampoo reviews . We are passionate about dogs and would love to send you a FREE e-Guide on how to solve barking problems and other great info. Get your FREE e-Guide now at www.DazzleDogDelight.com.