To soften dog eye discharge, it's important to take precautions so to prevent the problem from getting worse. While there are effective ways to soften dog eye discharge, it helps for the long term, finding out what is causing the eye discharge in the first place. Left untreated, eye problems in dogs may progress and even lead to sometimes serious complications. Learning how to soften dog eye discharge is therefore important but tackling the underlying issue is even more important so to prevent an ongoing problems.
Finding the Underlying Cause
Before tackling how to soften dog eye discharge, as mentioned it's important to find out why the dog's eye has discharge in the first place. Healthy dog eyes should not have discharge. Following are some potential causes of eye discharge in dogs, but see your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
An allergy to pollen or dust may cause allergic conjunctivitis which causes weepy eyes and redness. Exploratory, young dogs are often prone to this because they tend to put their faces in dusty corners, under bushes or in the sand. Small particles such as dust, pollen and sand may therefore end up getting trapped under the dog's eyelids with the end result of causing irritation.
In such a case, it helps to limit play in dusty areas. In the cases of allergies, affected dogs may also benefit from Benadryl (diphenhydramine) which is an antihistamine effective against allergies. Your vet may decide to prescribe some topical anti-inflammatory steroids eye drops. Consult with your vet first, because these drugs may be harmful if your dog has eye ulcers or a serious eye condition known as glaucoma.
In some cases, bacteria rather than allergies may be at play. Suspect an eye infection if the discharge is yellowish or green. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be caused by things like swimming in a dirty pond. While bacterial conjunctivitis can present in only one of the dog's eyes, it is often present in both eyes as it can spread from one eye to another. In case of an eye infection, the dog may benefit from an antibacterial eye ointment.
There are many other eye disorders in dogs which can cause eye discharge and these include corneal ulcers if the cornea of the affected eye has been scratched, uveitis which may sometimes stem from an underlying systemic fungal disease, KCS (kerato-conjunctivitis sicca) which affects often both eyes in small breed dogs, eyelid problems (ectropion) or irregular eye lashes (entropion), or glaucoma, which is an emergency eye condition common in older dogs and very painful. Left untreated, glaucoma may cause vision loss.
Preventing Further Damage
If your dog has eye discharge, as you prepare for your vet's appointment (eye problems should be seen within 24 hours as some conditions can worsen and cause vision loss) you can avoid further damage to the eye by preventing your dog from rubbing the face or scratching the eye area with the use of an Elizabethan collar.
If you don't have an Elizabethan collar handy, you can try to distract your dog from rubbing his eyes. Take him for a walk, provide him mental enrichment and training. This should tire him out and let him focus less on rubbing his eyes.
Warm compresses to the affected eye/eyes can help reduce a bit the inflammation. To rinse the eye, the only product that can be used safely and is over the counter is simply sterile saline solution found in the contact lens aisle of . pharmacies or grocery stores. The solution should not be medicated, it should only contain saline.
How to Soften Dog Eye Discharge
It's a good idea soften dog eye discharge considering that leaving the crust may cause irritation to develop underneath. On top of that, consider that excess humidity in the area may cause a secondary yeast infection. It is always best to remove the discharge when it is still fresh. Allow it to dry and you are left with a sticky mess that has the potential to glue together your dog's facial hairs making it more challenging to remove.
So how to soften dog eye discharge? In order to do that, you can simply get a clean wash rag soak it with clean warm water and then place it over the eyes so to moisten any crusting or discharge so that it can then be removed gently, suggests veterinarian Dr. Jess K.
Now, not many dogs may be willing to make you apply a warm compress and then wipe their eyes. To make your dog more collaborative, you can have a helper feed some treats as you wipe the eyes, and you can then get into the habit of feeding a tasty treat right after.
Also, make sure to be very gentle, if you pull the hair to remove the gunk, your dog may feel pain and he or she may be reluctant to allow you to be near his/her eyes next time.