Five types of dog eye discharge and what do they mean

Eye discharge, or eye boogers, are common in dogs. While some types are normal, others can be associated with potentially serious health concerns. Read on to find out more.
By Yong Cindy
Published on Monday, 27 November 2017

Most pooches experience eye discharge because of dirt, dust or allergic eye drainage, which is common. What isn’t normal is when yellowish discharge starts to form or you notice physical changes to the eye itself—whether it’s starting to cloud, bulge or push itself back into the skull.

In order to determine what professional help is needed, it’s important for paw-rents to understand the various types of eye discharge and what they mean.

1.  Allergies


(Photo credit: @alphanaught)

Like humans, dogs can be allergic to a number of things. From everyday surroundings, like grass and pollen, to food, like beef and salmon, can cause an allergic reaction. This eventually leads to a physical reaction, like eye discharge. If you notice any discharge, lightly trim hair away from the eyes and avoid that area when shampooing. Though there is no actual cure for allergies, using air filters and frequent vacuuming helps reduce dust miters.

2.  Conjunctivitis (aka pink eye)


(Photo credit: @barkfeed)

Mucus, yellow-green pus, or a watery eye discharge are notable indicators of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the lining of Fido’s eye, and the causes vary from pooch to pooch. Allergies, birth defects, injury, to name a few. Some signs include squinting, crusty, red eyes, and inflammation.

3. Glaucoma


(photo credit: Facebook @ Greg Martinez Dvm)

Glaucoma occurs when pressure is put on the eye, causing inadequate drainage of ocular fluid. Breeds like Poodles, Chow Chows, and Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to glaucoma. There are two types of glaucoma in dogs—primary and secondary. Primary glaucoma is when the eye is unable to drain, causing fluid to get backed up in the eye. Secondary glaucoma refers to trauma that has occurred to the eye, such as inflammation or cancer of the eye, which physically blocks drainage. Watch for clouded eyes, dilated pupils, eye bulging or excessive blinking.

4. Keratitis


(Photo credit: @eastcottreferrals)

Keratitis refers to inflammation of the cornea. There are two distinct types: noninfectious keratitis, which can be caused by a minor injury, and infectious keratitis, which may be caused by a variety of factors, such as bacteria or parasites. Upon noticing mucus-like discharge, it is important to treat the infection immediately, as this can lead to a rupture in the eye globe, which would eventually require eye removal.

5. Uveitis


(Photo credit: @petmed)

An inflammation in the inner part of your dog’s eye that is composed of the iris, ciliary body (a round structure located behind the iris), and the choroid (tissues behind the iris). Symptoms include cloudy eye discharge, redness of the eye, or blood on the inside of the eyes. Some of the common causes include viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic causes. If not treated right away, this condition can lead to blindness.