Checking out your dogs eyes on a regular basis is a habit you should get into right from the start. That way you will be able to tell if there are noticeable changes in your dogs eyes over time. It will also make it easy to catch any cloudiness, inflammation or tearing, which could not just be an eye problem but an underlying health problem.
Here are 10 ways to help keep your dogs eyes in check:
1. The Initial Gaze – Face your dog in a brightly lit area and look into his eyes. They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. His pupils should be equal in size and there shouldn’t be tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of his eyes.
2. A Closer Look – With your thumb, gently roll down your dog’s lower eyelid and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white.
3. What to Watch Out For – The following are signs that something may be wrong with one or both of your dog’s eyes:
- Discharge & crusty gunk
- Red or white eyelid linings
- Tear-stained fur
- Closed eye(s)
- Cloudiness or change in eye color
- Visible third eyelid
- Unequal pupil sizes
4. A Clean Sweep – A gentle wipe with a damp cotton ball will help to keep your pooch’s eyes gunk-free. Wipe outward from the corner of the eye and be careful not to touch his eyeball—you don’t want to scratch the cornea. If your dog constantly suffers from runny eyes and discharge, please see your veterinarian. Your pet may have an infection.
5. Control the Eye-Fro – Long-haired breeds can get eye damage if their locks aren’t tamed. Using scissors with rounded tips, carefully trim the hair around your dog’s eyes to keep his vision clear and prevent hairs from poking and scratching.
6. Ouch-Free Grooming & Maintenance – Soaps and topical medications can be major irritants. Make sure to protect your dog’s eyes before bathing him or applying ointments or flea-control formulas.
7. Driving Ms. Fluffy – Many a pooch loves the open road and the wind in her fur, but if debris or an insect touches her eye, she may suffer pain and a long-lasting injury. It’s much safer to drive with the windows only partially down and doggie’s head inside the vehicle. The wind can also dry out your dog’s eyes, possibly causing irritation and infection.
8. It’s in the Genes – Do a little research and find out if your dog’s breed is predisposed toward eye conditions, such as glaucoma or progressive retinal atrophy. Of course, your pet should have his eyes checked on annual vet visits, but knowing about possible inherited problems will help you take important precautions.
9. Eye-Catching Behavior – Watch your pooch’s body language—pawing or rubbing his eye area may alert you to possible problems.
10. Know Thy Eye Disorders – The following eye-related disorders are commonly seen in dogs:
Conjunctivitis: One or both of your dog’s eyes will look red and swollen, and there may be discharge.
Dry Eye: Diminished tear production can cause corneal inflammation, squinting and discharge.
Cherry Eye: An enlarged tear gland forms a cherry-like mass on the dog’s eye.
Epiphora: An overflow of tears creates stains on the dog’s facial fur.
Glaucoma: The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
Ectropion: A turning outward of the upper eyelid causes the lower lid to droop.
Entropion: A rolling in of the eyelid causes discharge and tearing.
Cataract: An opacity on the lens of the eye can cause impaired vision and possible blindness.
Progressive Renal Atrophy: Caused by degeneration of retinal tissue—night blindness is often its first sign.
Do you know of anything else that is important to check your dogs eyes out for that were left out from the list above?