Our vets know that pet parents work hard to protect and care for their pets. Nonetheless, eye injuries can still happen. Here, our South Florida vets share some of the most common types of eye injuries in dogs as well as the causes, symptoms, and what you should do if your dog has an eye injury.
Dog eye injuries often begin as a minor annoyance but can rapidly escalate into more severe and painful infections. It's important to note that even a seemingly small injury to the eye can have long-lasting effects, such as permanent scarring or even complete loss of vision, if not treated appropriately and promptly.
If your canine companion begins to display any of the symptoms listed below it's time to take your pup to the vet for an eye examination. Your veterinarian will examine your pup's sore eye to determine the cause and severity of your dog's eye injury and provide treatment or a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist in your area for advanced care.
Common Eye Injuries Seen in Dogs
Eye injuries can occur at any time and can range in severity from mild to injuries that put your dog's sight at risk. The types of eye injuries that are commonly experienced by dogs include:
- A corneal ulcer can result from chemicals, debris or rubbing
- A corneal laceration (a cut or scratch on the surface of the eye)
- Proptosis (eye pops out of its socket)
- A puncture wound resulting from a foreign object
- Eyelid trauma
Causes of Dog Eye Injuries
Needless to say, there are countless ways that dog eye injuries can happen including:
- Riding in a vehicle with head out the window
- Cuts and scratches caused by tree branches
- Dog rubbing at the eye
- Fights with other animals
- Abnormal growth of eyelashes
- Dangerous projectiles such as fireworks
Signs of Eye Injuries in Dogs
If your dog is experiencing an eye injury it will be both painful and irritating. To prevent your dog's eye injury from become more severe it is important to take your dog to the vet if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- General discomfort
- Twitching or spasming of the eyelid
- Blinking rapidly
- Unable to open eye
- Tearing, runny eyes
- Bloodshot eyes
- Pawing at eye / face
- Cloudiness or discharge
- Inability to close eye properly
Diagnosing Dog Eye Injuries
To assist your vet in identifying the cause of your dog's eye discomfort, it's helpful to provide them with specific details. Inform your vet about when your dog's symptoms first appeared, any changes in their condition (improvement or worsening), and the circumstances surrounding the possible injury.
If your vet doesn't immediately detect a foreign object in your dog's eye, they will perform an ocular examination to assess for any deeper injuries, irritations, or bruising caused by trauma. In certain instances, your vet may recommend a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist for advanced diagnostic tests and specialized treatment.
Treatments of Eye Injuries in Dogs
The severity of your dog's eye injury and whether or not it is infected, will dictate the best treatment. A simple injury may be treated with an e-collar to prevent your dog from rubbing the injured eye, and prescription antibiotics or drops. In some cases, if your dog is suffering from a severe eye issue, surgery may be required in order to repair your dog's eye and preserve your pet's eyesight.
When more advance eye care is called for, your vet may refer your pup to a Board-Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist for diagnosis and treatment.