Dogs are known for their playful and energetic personalities, but sometimes that energy can manifest in less desirable ways. One such way is when dogs develop eye boogers. The medical term for this condition is rheum, and it’s actually pretty common in dogs of all breeds and ages.
Your dog’s eye boogers may be unsightly, but they’re usually nothing to worry about. In most cases, they can be simply cleaned away with a cotton ball or soft cloth. However, if your dog’s eyes are accompanied by other symptoms like excessive tearing or rubbing, it could be a sign of a more serious problem, and you should take them to the vet for an evaluation.
So, what exactly are dog eye boogers? And why do dogs get them in the first place? Read on to find out.
What Are Dog Eye Boogers?
Eye boogers are made up of a combination of mucus, dirt, dust, and other debris. They can be found in the corners of your dog’s eyes or clinging to their eyelashes. In some cases, they may even accumulate under your dog’s eyebrows.
These boogers are generally harmless and don’t cause your dog any discomfort. In fact, you may not even notice them unless you take a close look at your dog’s face. However, if they become excessive or are accompanied by other symptoms, they could indicate a more serious problem.
Types of Dog Eye Boogers
Different types of eye boogers can develop in dogs, and each type can indicate a different underlying condition. Some of the most common types of eye boogers include:
Excessive Eye Boogers
One of the most common types of eye boogers is the excessive eye booger. This condition is characterized by a rust-colored facial discoloration that appears as tear staining. It is typically caused by an overproduction of tears, which leads to a build-up of discharge in the corners of the eyes. It can also be caused by allergies or other irritants that cause the eyes to water excessively.
Clear and Watery Eye Boogers
Another type of eye booger is the clear and watery discharge that often accompanies conjunctivitis or pink eye. This condition is caused by inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent membrane covering the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergies, or other irritants.
Green and Yellow Eye Boogers
Green or yellow boogers, such as conjunctivitis, can be a sign of infection. This type of discharge usually accompanies other symptoms, such as redness, swelling, and crusting around the eyes.
Blood-Tinged Eye Boogers
These boogers that are tinged with blood can signify an injury, such as a scratched cornea. This condition is typically accompanied by pain and light sensitivity.
Why Do Dogs Get Eye Boogers?
There are several reasons why dogs may develop eye boogers. Some of the most common include:
Allergies are a frequent cause of dog eye boogers. Just like people, dogs can be allergic to various things, including pollen, dust, mold, and even certain foods. Allergies can cause the eyes to water excessively, leading to a build-up of discharge in the corners of the eyes.
Eyelash or Other Irritant
Another common cause is an irritant, such as dust, dirt, or an eyelash. These foreign objects can become lodged in the corner of the eye, causing irritation and leading to a build-up of discharge.
Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is another possible cause of dog eye boogers. This is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid. Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergies, or other irritation.
A dry eye is a condition in which the eye does not produce enough tears. This can be caused by various factors, including certain medications, autoimmune disorders, and age. Dry eyes can cause the eyes to water excessively, leading to a build-up of discharge in the corners of the eyes.
Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eye’s surface. This can be caused by several factors, including age, injury, or prior surgery. Entropion can cause the corner of your eye to become irritated and produce discharge.
The cornea is the clear outer layer of the eye. A corneal ulcer is a deep break in this eye layer, often caused by bacteria or other infections. Excessive tearing, redness, and discharge in the corner of the eye are signs.
These are just a few of the possible causes of dog eye boogers. If you notice any type of discharge in your dog’s eyes, it is important to contact your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
How to Clean Dog Eye Boogers
If you notice eye boogers in your dog’s eyes, it is important to clean them away. This can be done with a clean, damp cloth. Gently wipe away any discharge in the corner of the eye, being careful not to irritate the area. You may also want to use a cotton ball soaked in sterile saline solution or distilled water.
If your dog has a lot of boogers, you may need to flush out their eyes with a sterile saline solution. This can be done by holding the bottle of solution about 6 inches from your dog’s face and squirting it into the corner of their eye. Allow the solution to run across the eye’s surface and down the cheek. Repeat this process until the eye is clean.
When cleaning your dog’s eyes, it is important to be gentle. Rough handling can cause irritation and make the problem worse. Contact your veterinarian for assistance if you are not comfortable cleaning your dog’s eyes or if the discharge is excessive.
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Eye Boogers?
You can do a few things to help prevent your dog from getting eye boogers.
- One of the best ways to prevent it is to keep your dog’s eyes clean. This means wiping away any discharge that you see in the corner of their eyes. You may also want to use a sterile saline solution or distilled water to flush out their eyes regularly.
- If your dog is prone to allergies, you can do a few things to help minimize their exposure. Keep them inside during high pollen days and wipe their feet and legs off after they’ve been outside. You may also want to consider using an air purifier in your home.
- You can also help prevent it by feeding your dog a healthy diet. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and keep the eyes healthy.
- The best way to prevent eye problems in your dog is to take them to the veterinarian for regular check-ups. This will allow your veterinarian to identify any potential problems early and recommend treatment.
These are just a few of the things you can do to prevent eye boogers in your dog. If you have any concerns, be sure to speak with your veterinarian.