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Why Are My Dogs Eyes Red And Droopy? (Answered!)

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Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Roberston

Why Are My Dogs Eyes Red And Droopy

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✔️ REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Joel Robertson

Veterinarian, BMT

The information in this article is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research

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If you have ever noticed that your dog’s eyes seem red and droopy, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Red, droopy eyes are a common condition in dogs and can be caused by a variety of things. This is a common condition in dogs, and there are several treatment options available.

In this blog post, we will discuss the most common causes of red, droopy dog eyes and the treatment options available for each one.

Key Takeaway

  • Your dog’s eyes may be red and droopy due to conditions like Ectropion, an abnormality where the eyelid “rolls” outward causing a saggy appearance and potential discharge, or Horner’s syndrome, which involves inflammation or damage to the eye nerves.
  • Treating your dog’s droopy eyes, which may be due to a condition called Ectropion, often involves the use of lubricating eye drops or ointments to prevent dryness, and in severe cases, a surgical procedure to shorten and tighten the eyelid may be required.

Why Are My Dogs Eyes Red And Droopy?

There are a few reasons why your dog’s eyes might be red and droopy. Some of them are not so serious and your dog will be alright.

However, some of the health conditions that cause red and droopy eyes in dogs need to be addressed as soon as possible.

1. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, also called “pink eye,” is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the clear tissue that covers the white part of your dog’s eye and lines the inside of its eyelids.

In fact, conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies, infection (bacterial, viral, or fungal), foreign bodies in the eye, or toxins.

It can also be a symptom of another disease such as distemper or kennel cough.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness and swelling of the conjunctiva, increased tearing, squinting, or blinking, and a discharge that can range from watery to pus-like.

While it is usually not serious, it can be very uncomfortable for your dog. Here are some tips on how to deal with conjunctivitis in dogs:

  • If your dog’s eyes are red and watery, it may have conjunctivitis. To treat this condition, you can use a warm compress on your dog’s eyes several times a day.
  • You should also try to keep your dog’s eyes clean by wiping them with a damp cloth.
  • If your dog’s conjunctivitis is caused by an infection, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics.
  • If your dog’s conjunctivitis is caused by allergies, you may need to give them antihistamines.

If you suspect that your dog has conjunctivitis, it is important to take them to the vet so it can be properly diagnosed and treated. In most cases, conjunctivitis is not serious and will resolve itself within a few weeks.

However, if it is left untreated, it could lead to more serious problems such as ulcers or scarring of the cornea. Therefore, if you notice any changes in your dog’s eyes, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away.

2. Allergic reaction to something in the environment

Allergies are a common cause of red and droopy eyes in dogs. Allergens can irritate the eyes and cause inflammation.

This can lead to the release of histamines, which can further aggravate the eyes and cause them to become red and swollen. In some cases, allergies can also cause the eyes to produce excessive tears, which can further contribute to the problem.

If your dog’s eyes are red and droopy, it is important to have them examined by a veterinarian to rule out any other possible causes of the problem.

Once an allergy is diagnosed, there are a number of treatments that can be effective in alleviating the symptoms. These include antihistamines, corticosteroids, and immunotherapy.

If allergies are the cause of your dog’s red and droopy eyes, there are a few things you can do to help ease their symptoms.

Keeping your dog away from potential allergens is the best way to prevent their symptoms from flaring up. If you think your dog may be allergic to something in their food, talk to your vet about switching them to a hypoallergenic diet.

You can also try using over-the-counter antihistamines to help relieve your dog’s symptoms. However, it is important to talk to your vet before giving your dog any medication, as some can have potentially harmful side effects.

3. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that can cause red and droopy eyes in dogs. It occurs when the pressure inside the eye becomes too high, which can damage the optic nerve.

Glaucoma can be inherited or acquired, and it is more common in certain breeds of dogs, such as basset hounds and cocker spaniels.

Treatment for glaucoma involves lowering the pressure inside the eye with medication or surgery. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Therefore, if you notice that your dog’s eyes are red and droopy, it is important to take them to the vet for an evaluation.

There are two types of glaucoma in dogs: primary and secondary. Primary glaucoma is an inherited condition while secondary glaucoma is caused by another underlying health issue.

Treatment for glaucoma will vary depending on the type but may include eye drops, surgery, or laser therapy.

4. Bacterial infection

Bacterial infections are one of the most common causes of red and droopy eyes in dogs. In fact, bacterial infections in dogs’ eyes can be very serious and even lead to blindness. The most common symptom of a bacterial infection is red, inflamed, and watery eyes.

There are several different types of bacteria that can infect a dog’s eyes, but the most common one is called Staphylococcus.

This type of bacteria is usually found on the skin or in the nose. It can easily spread to the eyes if there is an open wound or cut. Other types of bacteria that can cause infections include Streptococcus and Pseudomonas.

If your dog’s eyes are red and droopy, it is important to have them examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment.

Treatment may involve antibiotics for a bacterial infection, antihistamines for allergies, or other medications depending on the underlying cause.

5. Eye injury

Injury can cause red and droopy eyes in dogs. If your dog has been hit in the eye or head, it is important to take him to the vet immediately.

The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the chances are for a full recovery.

Treatment will be based on the underlying cause of the eye injury and may include medication, surgery, or both.

In some cases, dogs with eye injuries may require long-term care to prevent further damage to the eye or surrounding tissues. With prompt treatment and proper care, most dogs make a full recovery from their injuries and regain normal vision says VCAHospitals.

How Do I Treat My Dog’s Droopy Eyes?

Treating your dog’s droopy eyes depends on what is causing them in the first place. Here are the five most common reasons that cause droopy eyes and how to fix them:

1. Treating droopy dog eyes caused by conjunctivitis

If your dog’s eyes are droopy and/or red, it could be conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.

It can be caused by allergies, bacteria, viruses, or irritants in the environment.

Treating conjunctivitis depends on its cause. If it’s caused by allergies, your vet may prescribe antihistamines or steroids.

If it’s caused by bacteria or a virus, your vet will prescribe antibiotics or antiviral drugs. And if it’s caused by an irritant, you’ll need to remove the irritant from your dog’s environment.

2. Treating droopy dog eyes caused by allergies

While allergies may not seem like a big deal to us, they can be very irritating for our dogs. Dogs with allergies often have itchy, watery eyes. They may also rub their face along the ground or furniture in an attempt to relieve the itchiness.

There are a few different types of allergies that can affect dogs: food allergies, environmental allergies, and contact allergies. Food allergies are fairly rare in dogs, but they can happen.

Environmental allergies are more common and include things like pollen, dust mites, and mold spores. Contact allergies are caused by something coming into direct contact with the skin, like certain fabrics or grasses.

Droopy eyes in dogs can be caused by allergies just like in humans. If you suspect your dog’s droopy eyes are due to allergies, there are a few things you can do at home to help ease the symptoms.

Start by wiping their eyes with a damp cloth to remove any irritants that may be present. You can also give your dog some antihistamine medication to help relieve the swelling and itchiness. If the problem persists, however, you’ll need to take them to the vet for further treatment.

If your dog is allergic to something in his environment, there are a few things you can do to help make him more comfortable. Keep your house clean and free of dust and pollen.

If he’s allergic to something outside, try to avoid letting him come into contact with it as much as possible. You may also want to consider giving him regular baths with a hypoallergenic shampoo to help keep his skin from getting irritated.

3. Treating droopy dog eyes caused by glaucoma

If your dog’s eyes are droopy, it could be a sign of glaucoma. If you think your dog may have glaucoma, it is important to take them to the vet for treatment.

Glaucoma is a serious condition that can lead to blindness if not treated. There are two types of glaucoma in dogs: primary and secondary. Primary glaucoma is caused by an abnormality in the eye that leads to increased pressure inside the eye.

Secondary glaucoma is caused by another condition, such as injury or infection, that leads to increased pressure inside the eye. Treatment for glaucoma involves reducing the pressure inside the eye.

If your dog has glaucoma, there are some home remedies that can help ease its symptoms and improve its quality of life. Here are a few of the most effective home remedies for glaucoma in dogs:

  • CBD Oil: CBD oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful in reducing the swelling and pressure associated with glaucoma.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is another anti-inflammatory herb that can help to reduce the swelling and pain associated with glaucoma.
  • Hawthorn Berry: Hawthorn berry is an herbal remedy that has been shown to be effective in treating glaucoma in dogs.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of glaucoma in dogs.

If you are considering using any of these home remedies for your dog’s glaucoma, be sure to speak with your veterinarian first to make sure they are safe and appropriate for your pet.

4. Treating droopy dog eyes caused by bacterial infections

Droopy eyes in dogs can be caused by a number of things, but one of the most common causes is a bacterial infection. If your dog’s eyes are drooping and you suspect a bacterial infection, there are a few things you can do to treat it.

The first thing you should do is take your dog to the vet. Your vet will be able to confirm whether or not your dog has a bacterial infection and prescribe the appropriate medication.

Once your dog is on medication, you’ll need to keep an eye on its eye health and make sure the infection doesn’t spread. You can do this by cleaning their eyes daily with a warm, damp cloth and keeping an eye out for any discharge or redness.

There are a few home remedies that can help with eye bacterial infections in dogs. One is to mix together equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar.

This can be used as a rinse for the affected eye. Another remedy is to make a compress using a cloth soaked in warm chamomile tea. This can be applied to the eye for about fifteen minutes at a time.

Finally, you can try giving your dog some plain yogurt, which can help fight off the infection. If you notice any worsening symptoms, or if the infection does not seem to be responding to home treatment, it’s important to take your dog to the vet for further evaluation and treatment.

5. Treating droopy dog eyes caused by injury

If your dog has droopy eyes due to an injury, there are a few things you can do to help. First, if the eye is bulging or looks like it may pop out, do not attempt to push it back in. This could cause further damage.

Second, apply a cold compress to the area for no more than 15 minutes at a time. This will help reduce swelling. Finally, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible so they can assess the extent of the injury and provide proper treatment.

FAQs

Q: How can I tell if my dog has an eye infection?

A: Some common signs of an eye infection in dogs include redness, swelling, discharge (clear, yellow, or green), excessive blinking, squinting, or rubbing of the eyes. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to have your dog examined by a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Q: Can allergies cause red and droopy eyes in dogs?

A: Yes, allergies can cause red and droopy eyes in dogs. Just like humans, dogs can have allergies to various environmental triggers such as pollen, dust mites, or certain foods. Allergies can lead to eye irritation and inflammation, resulting in redness and droopiness. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the specific allergen and the best course of action.

Q: Can dry eyes be the cause of my dog’s red and droopy eyes?

A: Yes, dry eyes, medically known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, can cause red and droopy eyes in dogs. Dry eyes occur when the tear production is insufficient, leading to eye discomfort and inflammation. This condition can be managed with artificial tears or prescribed medications, so it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian.

Q: Should I be concerned if my dog’s eyes are red and droopy after an injury?

A: Yes, if your dog’s eyes are red and droopy after an injury, it should be a cause for concern. Eye injuries can range from minor scratches to more severe trauma that requires immediate veterinary attention. It is important to have your dog examined by a veterinarian who will provide proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent further complications.

Q: What are some common eye injuries in dogs?

A: Common eye injuries in dogs include scratches or cuts on the cornea, foreign objects lodged in the eye, trauma from fights or accidents, and exposure to chemicals. If you suspect an eye injury in your dog, it is crucial to seek veterinary care promptly to prevent potential vision loss or other complications.

Q: Can certain health conditions cause red and droopy eyes in dogs?

A: Yes, certain health conditions can cause red and droopy eyes in dogs. Conditions such as conjunctivitis, glaucoma, uveitis, or even systemic diseases like high blood pressure or autoimmune disorders can manifest as red and droopy eyes. If your dog’s symptoms persist or worsen, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment.

Q: How can I prevent eye infections in my dog?

A: To prevent eye infections in dogs, it is important to maintain good hygiene and regular eye care. This includes cleaning the area around the eyes with a damp cloth, avoiding exposure to irritants or allergens, and keeping your dog’s face and eyes dry. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can also help detect any early signs of infection and initiate appropriate preventive measures.

Q: Are there any home remedies I can try for my dog’s red and droopy eyes?

A: While there are some home remedies that can provide temporary relief, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Depending on the underlying cause of your dog’s red and droopy eyes, home remedies alone may not be sufficient in resolving the issue. A veterinarian can guide you on the appropriate steps to take and recommend any necessary medications.

Q: Can I use human eye drops for my dog’s red and droopy eyes?

A: It is strongly advised not to use human eye drops for your dog’s red and droopy eyes without consulting a veterinarian. Human eye drops may contain ingredients that can be harmful or have adverse effects on dogs. Only use eye drops specifically formulated for dogs and under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Conclusion and final thoughts

If you notice your dog’s eyes are red and droopy, it is important to pay attention and take action.

There are many potential causes for this condition and some more serious than others. It is always better to err on the side of caution and consult with a veterinarian.

With proper care and attention, your furry friend will be back to their normal, happy self in no time.

Remember, keeping your dog’s eyes healthy is key to their overall well-being and happiness.

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