Why Your Dog Has Red Eyes in Orlando, FL
Is one or both of your pet’s eyes bright red? While you don’t need to panic, your dog’s red eyes might be cause for concern, and you should contact your vet as soon as possible. There are all kinds of potential causes of red eyes in dogs, and expert treatment may be necessary to relieve your pet’s condition. Eye issues should always be taken seriously, as leaving them untreated could result in vision loss for your pet.
Below, we explain the different causes of red eyes in dogs, and what you should do if your pet has red eyes. If you have any questions for us or need to make an appointment, get in touch by calling (407) 298-3807!
7 Reasons Your Dog Might Have Red Eyes
There could be a number of causes responsible for your dog’s red eyes. Here are the most common culprits.
Allergies is just as prevalent in dogs as it is in humans. Dog allergies come in different forms, and can include food allergies, environmental allergies, and contact allergies. Redness/inflammation of the eyes is a typical symptom of allergies in pets, along with eye discharge.
Another potential cause of your dog’s red eyes is irritation, which can be the result of an object getting in their eye (such as dirt, dust, or hair). Some dogs can develop an issue where their eyelid flips inward, causing the eyelashes to grow inward as well and rub against the eye. In addition to irritation, this condition, called entropion, can also damage the cornea.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Yes, dogs can get pink eye, too! Technically known as conjunctivitis, this condition, can either be infectious, or non-infectious. What’s the difference between the two? Infectious pink eye can be the result of a bacterial infection or virus. Non-infectious pink eye, on the other hand, may be the result of simple irritation, an allergy, illness, or injury.
For some dogs, a red eye could be a sign of something more serious. Glaucoma occurs when fluid builds up within your pet’s eye, causing painful pressure on the eye and swelling around the eye. Without timely medical intervention, glaucoma can cause irreparable damage to your pet’s optic nerve, and even lead to blindness. In addition to redness of the eye, other possible signs of glaucoma may include cloudiness of the pupil and a dilated pupil. If your pet seems to be having trouble seeing, that may also be a sign of glaucoma. Routine eye pressure checks can help with the early detection of glaucoma, and give veterinarians ample time to propose a treatment plan and prevent the condition from worsening.
If your dog’s tear glands do not produce sufficient moisture to keep their eyes lubricated, this can result in a condition called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye. Dry eye can be caused by an eye injury, corneal ulcer, or congenital issue. In addition to redness, which is the more obvious sign of a problem, abnormal discharge from the eye could also be a symptom of dry eye. If your dog is diagnosed with this condition, they will require eye drops for treatment, and treatment itself may be ongoing if the dry eye proves to be a chronic issue.
Acute or Chronic Illness
Some acute or chronic illnesses can also cause red eyes in dogs. These may include hyperthyroidism, diabetes, cancer, and distemper. As your dog ages, they could also be more at risk for these conditions, which may result in redness of the eyes. Furthermore, if you happen to have an English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug, or Boston Terrier, they could be more prone to eye issues. Due to having a more flattened skull and face, these breeds tend to have eyes that bulge out, which makes them more vulnerable to injury and irritation. Long-haired dog breeds can also experience eye issues due to having longer hair that might get in their eyes.
Eye injuries can happen in various ways. Whether your dog is at play with another dog or romping around on a sandy beach, there are all kinds of hazards that can harm their eyes. Be mindful of your pet’s environment to reduce these hazards, and seek immediate medical attention for your pet if you notice abnormal and persistent redness of one or both of their eyes.
What to Do IF Your Dog has Red Eyes
Sometimes, red eyes can clear up quickly for your dog, leaving them none the worse for wear. Try to check your dog’s eyes for stray hair or a wayward eyelash or other object that might be causing irritation. You can gently clean the eyelids or use a damp paper towel to carefully remove the object. Be careful not to rub your pet’s eye in the process.
If you are having trouble removing the hair, eyelash or other object or your dog’s eyes are still red and you’re not sure why, contact our hospital as soon as possible. We may either recommend an over-the-counter medication, depending on the situation, or we may need to see your pet right away for an exam, diagnosis, and treatment.
Call 24/7 Animal Hospital of Orlando at (407) 298-3807 to speak with our team or schedule an exam.