What Is a Dog Eye Injury?
A dog eye injury can be characterized as physical trauma to any part of the eye area, such as the cornea, retina, or the white of the eye.
What Are the Symptoms of a Dog Eye Injury?
Dog eye injury results in squinting, blood, excessive tearing, swelling, rapid blinking, eye discharge, and in extreme cases, vision loss. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of dog eye injury.
- Squinting. Squinting is a common symptom of an eye injury. Minor causes of eye injuries, such as small lacerations on the cornea or a corneal ulcer, can be very uncomfortable and cause the dog to squint to protect the affected eye from further injury.
- Blood. If your dog is bleeding from the eye, it is an obvious sign of injury. You should seek veterinary attention immediately if this is the case.
- Excessive Tearing. Tear production is a natural reaction when a dog has an injured eye. Tears help to lubricate the eyelid, so it does not cause any further irritation and aids in healing the eye.
- Swelling. Swelling is part of the body’s response to infection or injury. This accumulates fluid under the skin and provides a concentration of white blood cells that aid in healing an injury.
- Rapid Blinking. Rapid blinking is a way for the dog to attempt to physically remove a foreign body from the surface of the eye. The eyelids closing and opening repeatedly can dislodge something stuck on the eyeball, which can be accompanied by excessive tearing.
- Eye Discharge. This is often a way for the dog’s body to try to remove foreign objects from the eye but can also be a sign of an eye infection.
- Loss of Vision. If your dog is showing signs of vision loss, it could very well be a symptom of serious injuries to the eye.
What Are the Causes of Dog Eye Injury?
Dog eye injury can be caused by:
- Foreign Objects. Foreign objects can be anything from a speck of dust from a car ride to a twig that has embedded itself behind the eye after a dog has been running through the woods.
- Playing. Dogs who roughhouse can suffer an eye injury. Dogs often wrestle when playing, which causes them to fall and snip at each other.
- Fighting. Whether it’s wildlife or another dog in the neighborhood, fighting always presents a risk of injury, especially to the face, throat, and eyes.
- Infection. Dog eye infections like conjunctivitis can cause dogs to begin pawing at their eye, which can pose a risk of scratching the eye or the area around it.
What Are the Most Common Dog Eye Injuries?
There are several common eye injuries dogs can suffer from. We list some of them below:
- Eyelid Injuries. Often from scratching and can be caused by eye infections, eyelid injuries are often minor.
- Damage from Foreign objects. Puncture wounds, corneal lacerations, and abrasions can all occur from contact with foreign objects.
- Corneal Ulcers. This is often due to exposure to chemicals, like cleaners or shampoos, or from excessive rubbing or scratching of the area around the eye.
How do You Treat an Eye Injury in a Dog?
It is strongly advised you see a DVM if your dog has an eye injury, as injuries can lead to permanent scarring, infection, and glaucoma.
Depending on the type of injury, the treatment may entail antibiotic and/or anti-inflammatory eye drops, wipes to clean the eye area, and an Elizabethan collar to prevent the dog from scratching the eyes and causing further damage.
Our favorite over-the-counter dog eye injury treatment options are listed below.
Vets Preferred Eye Cleaner for Dogs. The antibacterial formula is suitable for daily use, as well as urgent cases. Removes foreign particles like pollen, dust, and dirt can lead to chronic irritation and infections.
It helps to remove tear stains and clean the fur around the eye to prevent infection. This eye wash is made in a GMP-certified facility in the USA under strict supervision, to ensure optimum quality and safety.
Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse for Dogs. This eye rinse is specially formulated to create an inhospitable environment in the eyes for germs and bacteria. The formula includes boric acid to fight eye infections and irritations caused by particles and foreign objects.
A gentle formula, this helps to reduce inflammation and soothe sensitive eyes. It helps to clear up crusty, tear-stained eyes and restore them to the healthy vibrance they were at before.
Coco and Luna Eye Vitamins to Prevent Dog Eye Injury. Containing antioxidants and vitamins, this oral eye support supplement helps to support the immune system in fighting infection. This formula has ingredients like cod liver oil, bilberry fruit, astaxanthin, and vitamins C and E to help support overall eye function.
These chews contain no preservatives, eggs, gluten, or artificial colors. It is made in the USA in a GMP-certified facility to bring you the best safety standards possible.
Miracle Care Sterile Eye Wash Pads. These eye wash pads are effective and easy to use. Featuring a formula that contains boric acid and sodium chloride, these wipes are made to disinfect and protect the area of the eye.
These presoaked pads are great at removing tear stains and protecting the surface of the eye from further irritation by soothing the eye and preventing excessive scratching. It is made in the USA, so quality control and safety standards are at their highest with this product.
OptixCare Eye Lube Plus + Hyaluron for Dog Eye Injury. This lubricating eye cleaner safely and gently cleans the eye and surrounding area with a unique pH-balanced solution. It can be used to flush debris from under the eyelid and prevent dry eye.
It is made without peroxide, antibiotics, bleaches, or boric acid to provide the highest levels of safety with the lowest risk of injury. Containing hyaluronic acid and chamomile, this eye lubrication is great at hydrating the eye and soothing burning, stinging, and irritation.
How do I Know if My Dog’s Eye Injury Is Serious?
If a dog’s eye injury is severe, you will likely know. The signs will be pretty obvious.
These can include tilting the head in the direction of the affected eye, squinting, pawing at the eye, cloudiness of the eye, and swelling of the third eyelid.
Bloodshot eyes, or redness in the sclera, can also be a sign of injury but may not always be a sign of serious injury.
Can a Dog Eye Injury Heal on Its Own?
Yes, a dog’s eye injury can heal on its own if it is minor.
It is strongly recommended to see a vet or a veterinary ophthalmologist if your dog is showing signs of an eye injury. A dog eye injury can worsen pretty quickly and have permanent pet health consequences.
How Long do Dog Eye Injuries Take to Heal?
Depending on the type and severity of the injury, an eye can take a few days to several weeks to heal. Consult with a DVM to get a more specific timeline for your particular scenario. If you wait too long to get an eye injury treated, it can lead to permanent blindness or loss of the eye.
What Is the Best Way to Protect Eye Injuries in Dogs?
An e-collar is a great way to prevent eye injuries. These prevent your dog from being able to reach its face and stop them from scratching.
Eye washes and care products can also be used to prevent injuries caused by dog eye infections. These help to keep the inflammation and irritation at bay, so the dog does not scratch as fervently at their eye.
Many eye injuries are caused by foreign objects, like dirt or grass, that have gotten into the eye and may have come off of their fur. Keeping them clean can reduce the chance of this happening and also removes bacteria from around the eyes.