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At-Home Eye Care Tips for Dog Owners

March 15, 2014

As with just about any health concern, taking regular preventative steps for your dog’s eye health is far easier—and cheaper—than treating an issue. Use these guidelines from a San Jose veterinarian to keep your dog’s eyes healthy.

The Stare Down

A few times a month, sit your dog down in a well-lit, quiet area and stare directly into his eyes. The eyes should be clear and bright, and you should be able to see white visible around the eyeball itself. If you notice any cloudiness, discharge, discoloration, or anything that you think may be abnormal, check with your veterinarian.

Eyelid Exam

Try getting a closer look at your dog’s eyes by gently rolling down the lower eyelid. Talk to your dog soothingly while doing this to keep him calm, and offer a treat when you’re done. Examine the lining of the eye, which should be a healthy pink color. Lining that seems white or a deep red could indicate a problem.

Hair Trim

Some dogs, especially the longer-haired breeds, may have tufts of hair around the eyes that cause hair to contact the eyeball. This can be irritating and painful, so give your dog relief by trimming away long hairs around the eyes. Make sure your dog is perfectly still, and be very careful when doing so. You may even try using a pair of scissors designed especially for trimming dog hair.

The Wipe Down

If your dog is like many, he’ll develop some crusty gunk in the corners of his eyes over time. While this discharge doesn’t automatically mean something is wrong, it’s best to keep the discharge from accumulating. Use a dampened cotton ball to swipe the gunk out of your dog’s eyes—use an outward motion to be safe. If the discharge seems runny or there is an excessive amount, it’s best to get your vet’s opinion.

Know the Signs

Aside from physical evidence around the eyes themselves, make a note of your dog’s behavior. Pawing, scratching, or rubbing at the head or eye area might indicate a health concern. If your dog seems hesitant to move, doesn’t see objects moving easily, or hesitates to move around, his vision could be deteriorating. Make an appointment with your San Jose veterinarian to have your dog examined by a professional.