Dog Eye Discharge: When To Worry About Dog Eye Boogers

dog eye discharge in the snow

Do you sometimes wake up in the morning and have “sleep boogers” in your eyes that you need to rub away? It’s a pretty common thing that happens, and you wipe your eyes and then go your way. Most people believe that “dog eye boogers” are the same innocuous thing – nothing to worry about.

The fact is, dog eye boogers could indeed be innocuous – or they could be a sign of trouble for your dog.

Types of Dog Eye Boogers

Let’s take a look at various ways dogs’ eyes secrete “gunk” that turns into boogers – and see if they’re something that require a visit to the veterinarian:

Normal Eye Discharge

dog eye boogers on a normal dog Whenever a dog sleeps, tears (which continue to moisten the eye even when your pooch is snoozing) may not all drain through the tear ducts at the inner corner of each eye. The dried tears combine with mucus, dead cells, dust and oil to accumulate into what looks like a crust or bit of gunk. This is perfectly normal – and it’s basically the same as the sleep boogers that we humans experience.

Grayish-White Discharge

Sometimes a dog can suffer from dry eye (also called keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS), which usually occurs when a dog’s immune system attacks and destroys the glands that produce tears. To make up for the loss of tears, the body tries to lubricate the eyes by making more mucus, which ends up being a discharge that is grayish-white in color. But mucus doesn’t function as well as tears, the eyes become red and painful, and ulcers can develop. An untreated case of dry eye can lead to acute discomfort and pain from his blinking and even an injury requiring surgery and blindness.

Too Many Tears

If your dog’s eyes are constantly watering, it could be anything simple from allergies to a foreign body in the eye. Other more serious conditions could include abnormal eyelashes, blocked tear ducts, scratched corneas or even glaucoma. The excess tears could be your dog’s way of dealing with whatever the issue is with his cornea and the damage it may have sustained. You should always take any cornea and tear duct damage very seriously.

“Poodle Stains”

poodle with eye stains Reddish brown tear stains that discolor the fur from your dog’s eyes down her muzzle are sometimes called “poodle stains” because they’re so often found on white poodles or other light-colored dogs. These stains are caused by this medical condition that is sometimes referred to as dog eye gunk. Most of the time, these tear stains aren’t a major concern, though they don’t look as cosmetically nice as you’d like. However, the moistness of the stained areas can possibly lead to infections.

Green or Yellow Discharge

A dog whose eyes produce yellow or green discharge often has an eye infection. One such infection is conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the lining of your dog’s eye. If it’s conjunctivitis, you’ll also see redness, irritation, squinting, pawing at the eye, etc. Other symptoms may include eyelashes that are stuck together, red or pink eye whites, and general puffiness.

What To Do About Dog Eye Discharge

A small amount of eye boogers is normal. The eyes are clear with a white eyeball, the boogers are white, milky or pale yellow or black in color, and they’re found in the corners or underneath the eyes. You know your dog best and what is “normal” for her in terms of eye discharge. If she doesn’t seem bothered by the discharge, you don’t need to do anything except wipe it away (see below for best techniques).

veterinarian care for dog ear infections However, if your dog has excessive eye boogers (more than usual) and shows any signs of irritation, such as redness or squinting, rubbing or itching, then it may be a good idea to consult with your vet to discuss his condition.  Moreover, monitor your dog for bloodshot eyes, a bad smell, a discharge over the eyelids that impede movement of the eyes, a visible third eyelid, or cloudiness/change in eye color.

Since there are so many different causes of dog eye discharge, it’s important to get the right treatment for your dog. Your vet will be able to provide a proper diagnosis and treat appropriately. Early veterinary intervention, particularly when it comes to eye health, is not only the best course but, very often, the less expensive way.

How to clean off eye boogers safely

Whether the dog eye boogers are “normal” or need a vet’s care, you’ll need to clean them off your dog’s face and the skin around his eyes.

Banixx Pet Care is an excellent product for this purpose, for these reasons:

  • It is clinically proven safe to use around the eyes, and can be applied without worry about hurting, stinging or having long-term effects on your dog’s eyes.
  • It is also a proven anti-fungal, anti bacterial formula that aids in creating a pH environment that gently wipes out infections.
  • And it can safely be used in conjunction with any other medications prescribed by your veterinarian.

Apply Banixx liberally to a sterile gauze pad and wipe these areas gently. Sterile gauze is better than cotton balls, because it doesn’t shred or leave tiny filaments of cotton attached to your dog’s eyelashes that can lead to further problems.

Depending on the severity of the discharge, you may need to clean this area with Banixx every day, weekly or once a month – you are the best judge of how often to do this.

We hope you found this article helpful and if your dog ever gets any cuts, abrasions, ear infections or hot spots, we hope you keep Banixx Pet Care in mind. Go to our dog page to learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy!

Banixx Anti-Fungal Anti-Bacterial Spray

Dog Breeds Most Affected By Dog Eye Discharge

Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Beagles, Poodles, Rottweilers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Yorkshire Terriers, Boxers, Dachshunds, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Siberian Huskies, Australian Shepherds, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers , Shih Tzu, Boston Terriers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Pomeranians, Havanese, Shetland Sheepdogs, Brittanys, English Springer Spaniels, Pugs, Mastiffs, Cocker Spaniels, Vizslas, Cane Corso, Chihuahuas, Miniature American Shepherds, Border Collies, Weimaraners, Maltese, Collies, Basset Hounds, Newfoundlands, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, West Highland White Terriers, Belgian Malinois, Shiba Inu, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Bichons Frises, Akitas, St. Bernards, Bloodhounds, Portuguese Water Dogs, Bullmastiffs, English Cocker Spaniels, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Papillons, Australian Cattle Dogs, Dalmatians, Scottish Terriers, Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Airedale Terriers, Whippets, Bull Terriers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Chinese Shar-Pei, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, Great Pyrenees, Dogues de Bordeaux, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Cairn Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Lhasa Apsos, Old English Sheepdogs, Italian Greyhounds, Greater Swiss Moutain Dogs, Chow Chows, Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Setters, Giant Schnauzers, Chinese Crested, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Coton de Tulear, Russell Terriers, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Bouviers des Flandres, merican Staffordshire Terriers, Rat Terriers, Basenjis, Border Terriers, Standard Schnauzers, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Pekingese, Leonbergers, English Setters, Keeshonden, Welsh Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers, Afghan Hounds, Pointers, Chorkie and Labradoodle.

Dog eye boogers can of course affect other dog breeds, these are just the most commonly affected pups.