What The Heck Are Dog Eye Boogers?

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Yep, they’re gross, and you’ve probably had to clean them from your dog’s peepers at some point. But what exactly are dog eye boogers and should you be concerned?

Most dogs tend to have a little bit of material collecting in the corners of their eyes on a daily basis and it is generally not something to worry about. If your dog’s eye discharge becomes frequent, discolored, or odorous, however, it may be a sign of a medical problem. In this article you will learn the basics about dog eye boogers and what you can do about them.

What Causes Dog Eye Boogers?

In many cases, dog eye boogers are simply the result of foreign material being discharged from the eye. Everyday your dog is exposed to things like dirt, dust and pollen which can collect in the corners of his eyes. This type of discharge is not serious and it isn’t anything to worry about unless it becomes severe. If your dog’s eye boogers recur or if the material looks yellow or green, it could be more than just daily accumulation of foreign material. If the tissues around your dog’s eye appear to be red or irritated, it could also be a sign of a serious problem.

Related: What Is Cherry Eye In Dogs?

One of the most common causes of eye boogers in dogs is conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the lining around your dog’s eye. Conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies, injury, dry eyes, anatomical defects, or foreign matter in the eye. Some of the signs of conjunctivitis, aside from discharge, include blinking too much, inflammation, squinting, or pawing at the eyes. Excessive tearing, a condition called epiphora, may also case your dog’s discharge and eye boogers. This condition may result from allergies, inflammation, glaucoma, ulcers, or ingrown eyelashes. Dryness of the eye can also cause eye boogers.

What Can I Do About Them?

Treating your dog’s eye boogers depends on the underlying cause so you should consider taking him to the vet for an examination. Your vet will be able to tell you what is causing the discharge and he will recommend treatment. In some cases, treating your dog’s eye boogers may involve the administration of eye drops or ointments. Before you administer these drops or ointment, gently clean away any discharge from your dog’s eyes using a clean cotton ball and warm water. To administer eye drops, gently tilt your dog’s head back and rest the palm of your hand on his head so you don’t touch the eye dropper to his eye. Gently squeeze the drops into the upper part of your dog’s eye and let him blink to spread them. To apply an ointment, gently pull down on your dog’s lower eyelid and squeeze the ointment into the area.

Related: What You Need To Know About Glaucoma In Dogs

Preventing Eye Problems in Your Dog

As you have already learned, eye boogers in dogs can be caused by several different things. Though eye boogers can have a variety of causes, there are some simple things you can do to help prevent eye problems in your dog. First, examine your dog’s eyes occasionally for signs of infection or change – his pupils should be the same size and there should be no excessive tearing, squinting, or crusting around the eye. If you see any of these things, take your dog to the vet. You may also want to keep the fur around your dog’s eyes trimmed short – in many cases, discharge is the result of irritation from fur getting into your dog’s eye. If you don’t feel comfortable trimming the hair yourself, ask your dog’s groomer to do it for you.

Maintaining your dog’s eye health is incredibly important and maintenance is a key aspect when it comes to keeping his eyes in top-top shape.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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