How to Get Rid of Dog Eye Boogers

If you are a dog owner, chances are you’ve noticed eye boogers in your best friend’s eyes more than once. If your dog has been running off-leash on a hike or digging in the garden, allergens and dust can contribute to some eye discharge, and while some eye discharge is normal, just like it is for humans, eye boogers can also be a sign of a different problem. Some of the common causes of dog eye boogers are conjunctivitis, epiphora (excessive tear production), and injury to the eye.

Dog eye boogers

Because excessive discharge from the eye can be a sign of a medical condition, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have your dog’s eyes checked if you are concerned.

What Causes Dog Eye Boogers?

Discharge from the eye is a common problem for some dogs and can be a sign of anything from an infection, to allergies to more serious issues.

Common causes of dog eye boogers include, but aren’t limited to:

Allergies

If your dog has clear eye discharge, it could be caused by allergies to something in the environment, like dust or other particles in the air, and your veterinarian can make some recommendations. Watery discharge or mucus from one eye is usually an indication of a foreign body, like an ingrown eyelash or something in the eye, and yellow-green or pus-like eye discharge can be a sign of a serious infection.

It’s important to contact your veterinarian if your dog has considerable eye discharge because some problems can result in blindness or loss of an eye if left untreated.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the lining of the dog’s eye and is characterized by yellow-green pus or watery discharge. Many things can cause conjunctivitis, such as blocked tear ducts, allergies, foreign bodies, dry eye, the distemper virus (mostly in puppies and younger dogs), or cancerous growths.

Other symptoms of conjunctivitis in dogs include:

  • Inflamed eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Squinting
  • Excessive blinking
  • Crusty matter around the eyes
  • Pawing at the eyes

Epiphora (Excessive Tearing)

If your dog has teary, watery eyes or eye boogers that result in dark staining, smelly hair around the eyes, or inflamed skin around the eyes, this can be a result of several different things, including ingrown eyelashes, allergies, irritation, corneal ulcers, tumors, and eye pain.

Some breeds such a Bichon Frises and poodles tend to have watery eyes that cause staining, and this can be managed with regular grooming and over-the-counter tear stain products.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is caused by excessive pressure in the eye, and symptoms include a bulging eye or eyes, excessive tearing, and cloudy eyes. Glaucoma is a very painful condition, and if you suspect that your pet has glaucoma, contact your veterinarian and make an appointment.

Dry Eye

Symptoms of dry eye include sticky eye discharge caused by the inability to produce adequate tears.  Sometimes an injury, the distemper virus, or the body’s immune system impairs tear gland tissue function and causes dry eye.

Dogs with dry eye tend to be prone to eye infections, inflammation, and corneal ulcers. Your veterinarian may recommend artificial tear products to help lubricate the eyes.

Breed Issues

Flat-faced dogs like boxers, pugs, and bulldogs are prone to eye boogers because their faces are flatter, and their eye sockets are shallower. These “brachycephalic” breeds, may have tear drainage issues, ingrown eyelashes, and entropion issues (where the eyelids roll inward and irritate the eye) that can cause prominent eye discharge. These conditions often require surgery.

Other breeds such as bloodhounds, cocker spaniels, beagles, and some terriers, are prone to a condition known as ectropion, where the eyelids roll outward.

How Do I Get Rid of My Dog’s Eye Boogers?

Once you have any injuries, allergies, and/or infections under control, here are some tips for getting rid of dog eye boogers:

Dog Tear Stain Remover

While it is possible to clean dog tear stains with some warm water at home, there are products available that can remove tear stains, and these products come in the form of solutions and wipes.

Pet Eyewash

Eye drops are another option to treat dog eye boogers, and they are great for eye lubrication, flushing out irritants and debris, and alleviating allergic reactions.

Pet Eye Comb

Eye combs are a good tool to use to remove eye boogers in dogs that tend to cling to the hair around the eyes. They are easy to use, efficient, and can be purchased at local pet stores and online.

Trim Around the Eyes

If your dog has long hair that causes eye boogers, try to clean the hair around the eyes and trim it regularly, but be very careful when trimming around your dog’s eyes.

You can try a simple pet grooming kit at home, or make an appointment with a groomer if you’re reluctant to trim around your dog’s eyes.

Use a Warm Washcloth

An easy and useful approach is to get a clean cloth, soak it in clean warm water, and hold the cloth over your dog’s eyes for about thirty seconds. This softens eye boogers, allowing you to gently wipe them away and clean around your dog’s eyes.

Lubricating Eye Drops

Lubricating eye drops for dogs are a wonderful non-toxic and safe option because they are specifically designed for use in dogs.

Steps for Applying Eyedrops

If you choose to treat your dog’s eye boogers with lubricating eye drops, below are a few tips:

  • Keep the eye drops nearby, then clean away any discharge around your dog’s eyes with a warm washcloth.
  • When applying lubricating eye drops, tilt your dog’s head back a little, rest your hand (the one that is holding the eye drop bottle) on your dog’s head so you don’t hit her eye with the dropper if your dog moves, and then squeeze a few drops into the upper part of your dog’s eye.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Eye Boogers?

It’s always a good idea to regularly check your dog’s eyes. The pupils should always be the same size, the eyes should be crust-free, and the sclera (the white part of the eye) should be clear and white. Your dog should not squint, produce excessive tears, and the inner eyelids (the third eyelids) should not be visible.

Call a Veterinarian for Your Dog’s Eye Boogers

If you see excess discharge, tearing, tear-stained fur, eye cloudiness, a visible third eyelid, closed or squinted eyes, or pupils of unequal size, you should give your veterinarian a call and make an appointment as soon as possible.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.