Red eyes in a dog can be both normal and indicative of the course of pathological processes. If the pet is not a breed that has this physiological feature, it is better not to delay the visit to the veterinarian. If a severe inflammatory process develops, the animal may partially or completely lose its vision. There are many reasons why a dog has red eyes, which you will learn about in this article.
Red eye syndrome – what is it
Perhaps the most common reason owners take their dogs to the vet is eye hyperemia. This “abnormality” has been called “Red Eye Syndrome.
The explanation for the red whites of a dog’s eyes is simple. The vessels located in the area of the eyeballs overflow with blood. This condition, as mentioned earlier, is called hyperemia. It is divided into venous (insufficient flow of venous blood) and arterial (excessive inflow of arterial blood).
In this case the animal may be red not only the whites of the eyes, but also the eyelids. The pathological process may occur without accompanying symptoms or already aggravated by purulent discharge, swelling of tissues, anxiety, complete or partial loss of appetite.
Types of red eyes in dogs
Redness by itself cannot speak to the severity of the pet’s disease, its type. Red eyes in a pet can be classified into several types: generalized and focal.
Focal inflammation is predominantly found. It can be caused by:
- Internal bleeding;
- The development of deep ocular media disease, developmental abnormalities;
- Formation of a tissue neoplasm (neoplasia, episcleritis, prolapse of the third eyelid gland);
- Diseases of the envelopes of the eyeballs;
Veterinarians in this case most often diagnose focal subconjunctival hemorrhage against the background of physical head trauma. If your dog’s eye is red and pusy, it indicates tissue infection. In this case, it is highly recommended not to delay a visit to the veterinarian.
Dog breeds with red eyes
The only case where red eyes are the norm is when a dog is born albino. The fact is that the coloring pigment in the albino body is absent, and capillaries can be seen through the depigmented thickness of the skin. In all other cases, inflamed eyelids are an abnormality.
There are also a few breeds that are prone to develop red eye syndrome against a deficit of tear fluid produced by the body. We are talking about Chinese Crested Dogs, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekinese and Cocker Spaniels. But it is important to understand that their red eyeballs are not the norm, just that they are prone to developing similar problems.
Why are my dog’s eyes red?
The reasons why a dog has red eye whites can have different origins: trauma, hereditary predisposition, infectious/non-infectious diseases. The redness may also occur at a specific time or on a regular basis, with accompanying symptoms.
We are talking about diseases caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses. The most common ones are:
- Viral diseases in puppies;
Non-communicable diseases include:
- Development of allergic reactions;
- Physical injuries;
- The formation of benign or malignant tumors;
- Eyelid eversion/envelopment;
- High blood pressure;
- Third eyelid prolapse;
- Occlusion of the lacrimal duct;
- Diabetes mellitus.
For an animal, red eyes are the norm in the only case – an albino dog. Breeds that are genetically predisposed to develop the disorder are the Pekingese, Pug, Cocker Spaniel, Bulldog, etc.
Associated clinical symptoms
In order for the veterinarian to make the correct diagnosis with the greatest probability, it is recommended to describe the condition of your four-legged friend in as much detail as possible. Be sure to notify the doctor of the following symptoms:
- Sticking of the eyelids, the dog has difficulty opening his eyes;
- Increased body temperature;
- Discharge from the lacrimal duct;
- Swelling of tissues;
- Profuse lacrimation;
- Formation of various spots and neoplasms on the eyelids;
- Disproportionality of the pupils.
It is also necessary to closely monitor the overall condition of the animal, its behavior. Even the smallest things can help a lot in making the right diagnosis.
Diagnosing red eyes in dogs
A veterinary ophthalmologist should examine the dog to make a diagnosis. In some cases a diagnosis can be made right away, and sometimes additional testing may be needed:
- Performing an ultrasound examination (ultrasound);
- Measurement of intraocular pressure;
- Conducting tests by staining the cornea with fluorescein;
- Implementation of Gauss-Seidel method;
- Cytologic examination.
Treatment and prevention of red eyes in a dog
Treatment includes the use of drugs for external use – irrigation solution, drops, ointments. In cases of severe disease, injections may be prescribed.
Drugs from different groups may be prescribed: antibacterial, antifungal, immunostimulatory, regenerative, antiviral, and others. Vitamin and mineral complexes may also be prescribed to strengthen the immune system.
Preventing your pet’s red eyes involves proper eye care. It, in turn, includes:
- Regular preventive examinations at the veterinarian;
- Timely vaccination;
- Proper and balanced diet;
- Treatment against parasites;
- Measures to protect the animal.
If your dog is prone to eye problems, it is worth working out a plan of action with your veterinarian to address the aggravation of the condition.
To prevent the development of eye disease, periodic examinations and close monitoring of her are recommended. Timely treatment of abnormalities can prevent the development of complications.