There are several breeds of dogs that are more prone to eye infections than others. Typically dogs that have a longer hair around the eyes, protruding eyes or are prone to rolling of the upper or lower lids, known as entropion, are also at higher risk. Interestingly the short muzzled breeds, the brachycephalic dogs like Pugs, Boxers, Pekingese and Bulldogs are also prone to eye problems and infections.
Generally the first signs of an eye infection in any type of dog will be tearing from the inside corner of the eye. This can be mild to very significant. Typically this tearing may also be associated with a smelly discharge and rubbing of the eyes or the head on a variety of different surfaces. The dog may also scratch at the eyes, posing a real risk for developing corneal damage that may worsen the infection and lead to blindness if not treated. The white of the eye often looks red and inflamed and the dog may not fully open the eyelids, particularly in sunlight or bright lights.
The problem can be caused by both bacterial and viral culprits. There are also some health conditions that cause a discharge from the eyes that may be mistaken for an eye infection. Since there are so many possible conditions that can cause eye infection it is important to bring the dog to us so a correct cause can be determined. Once our veterinarians know what is causing the problem we can design the most effective treatment. Allergens, underlying physical problems with the eye, trauma, and foreign materials getting in the eye can all lead to infection. Diagnosing the cause of the infection is vital to treat the infection properly and prevent recurrence of infection. From there we will be able to prescribe the correct antibiotics and medications as needed. In the case of entropion a simple surgical procedure can reposition the eyelid correctly, eliminating the irritation to the cornea that is leading to the infections.
yet very effective preventative options can also be discussed when you bring your pet in. Clipping the long hairs that may be irritating the eye’s surface and routine cleansing of the eye area can often lower the risk of your dog having another bout with an eye infection.