Three Reasons Your Dog's Eyes May Be Running

Posted on: 9 June 2015


If your dog's eyes are watery and look irritated, it's important to figure out the cause. The eyes are sensitive organs, and failing to treat an eye-related issue could lead to blindness and other complications. In many cases, watery eyes have a simple explanation and are easy to treat. Sometimes, however, the cause is more sinister. Here's a look at three of the most common reasons why your dog's eyes may be running.


Perhaps the most worrisome cause of runny eyes is an injury to the eye. If your dog refuses to open his or her eye at all, the eye area is swollen, or there is blood coming from the eye area, you should contact an emergency veterinarian because an eye injury is likely.

If your dog is holding his or her eye shut, but will allow you to gently open it, do so. Look for any white, cloudy or light-colored spots, which may be scratches on the cornea (the outer surface of the eye). Antibiotics will be needed to prevent the scratch from becoming infected, and pain relieving eye drops will likely be prescribed, too. In severe cases, your vet may need to operate on the eye to repair the damage.


If the tissues around the eye seem irritated, but the eye itself looks okay, then your dog may be suffering from an infection of the eye that is similar to pink eye in humans. Other signs of infection include itchy eyes (your dog may rub the eyes with his or her paws) and a pussy, yellow or white excretion from the eyes. Infections require veterinary treatment with antibiotics, but they are not usually considered an emergency. However, if your dog is scratching his or her eyes relentlessly, you will want to seek prompt veterinary assistance (at clinics like River View Veterinary Service LLC) so he or she does not end up scratching the eye tissue and making matters worse.


If your dog is keeping his or her eyes open and the excretions are clear, not cloudy, allergies may be to blame. Some dogs are sensitive to chemical cleaners used around the home. Others are sensitive to natural allergens, such as pollen and mold. Try switching to all-natural, pet-safe cleaners and laundry detergents, and make sure your dog stays inside when the pollen counts are high. If symptoms don't improve within a week or so, contact your vet. He or she can likely prescribe allergy medications to keep your dog's eyes clear and make your dog more comfortable.

Runny eyes in a dog should never be ignored. It's rather easy to tell whether an injury, infection, or allergies are to blame, based on the symptoms. Once you make this determination, you now know how to proceed to get your dog the necessary care.