Understanding eye problems in dogs - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views


Dogs are prone to a number of different conditions affecting their eyes.


Conjunctivitis is often triggered by allergies.

Signs of conjunctivitis:

  • Green or yellow discharge
  • Squinting/holding the eye closed
  • Scratching or rubbing at the eye
  • Red sclera (the white part of the eye) and red, swollen eyelids

Treatment of conjunctivitis includes cleaning away any discharge from the eye and an appropriate medication as dispensed by your vet.

Cherry eye (Prolapsed third eyelid gland)

Cherry eye is more commonly seen in brachycephalic (short nosed) dogs such as French and English bulldogs and pugs.

Signs of cherry eye:

  • The tear gland prolapses from behind the third eyelid causing a ball of pink tissue (which may resemble a cherry) to protrude at the inner corner of the eye

Treatment of cherry eye may sometimes be achieved with anti-inflammatory medication but in the long term surgical intervention may be required.


Glaucoma is the term for increased fluid pressure within the eye.

Signs of glaucoma:

  • A “blue and red” eye – the cornea (outer covering of the eyeball) becomes blue and the sclera (white of the eye) becomes red
  • The globe can appear swollen
  • Marked eye pain can occur rapidly

Treatment of glaucoma requires medication to reduce the pressure in the eye and assist drainage of fluid from the globe. Uncontrolled glaucoma may require removal the entire globe as the condition is very painful if not resolved.

Ectropion (droopy eyelids) or entropion (eyelids rolling in)

These conditions are due to a dog’s conformation so are more commonly seen in particular breeds. Surgical correction is usually required.

Corneal ulceration

Corneal ulceration occurs as the result of an injury to the cornea or due to degenerative change in the cornea.

Signs of ulceration:

  • Squinting
  • Excessive tearing
  • Cloudiness of the cornea

Treatment of corneal ulceration includes pain relief and antibiotic medications. More severe injuries may require surgery.

Eye issues can occur very acutely in dogs and become very serious in a short period of time. If you notice any issues with your dog’s eyes it is important to seek veterinary attention so the appropriate treatment can be commenced.

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