Why does my dog get red eyelids or the whites of the eyes? Is it dangerous if the pet as a whole is doing well and is not worried about anything? What if the eye is swollen and festering? Let’s talk about this in our article.
What is Red Eye Syndrome?
Redness of the eyes is among the top reasons for contacting a veterinarian. This ailment has even been called Red Eye Syndrome.
The eye turns red because of the blood vessels of the circulatory system overflow with blood. This condition is called flushing. Hyperemia is arterial (arterial blood flow) and venous (poor venous blood flow).
Your dog may have red eyelids or the whites of the eyes. Redness may be asymptomatic or be accompanied by eye discharge, swelling, sneezing, pet anxiety, refusal to eat, or other signs of discomfort.
Whether redness is dangerous, whether it needs to be treated and how to do it depends on the cause of the inflammation. There are a lot of them. Let’s take a look at the main ones. For convenience, we will divide them into those that do not require urgent treatment and dangerous ones that directly threaten health and life.
Causes of eye redness
Reasons that do not require urgent treatment
If you have an albino dog, red eyes are common. If there are no other symptoms, this is not a pathology.
There are breeds with a tendency to eye inflammation: these are, for example, Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, and Shar-Pei. In their cases, redness of the eyes is usually not dangerous. But the owner should regularly maintain pet eye hygiene so that complications do not start. Talk to your veterinarian about how to care for your dog’s eyes and how to quickly and safely relieve the first symptoms of inflammation.
Weather response: wind and dust
Eyes can turn red while walking from exposure to wind, rain, road dust, and other irritants. Rinse your dog’s eyes with warm, clean water or special lotion. After that, the redness usually goes away quickly.
Reaction to too bright light
Bright light is another cause of eye fatigue and redness. Avoid walking your dog in direct sunlight. And if your dog has sensitive eyes (like bobtails), do not cut the hair above the eyes. Do not worry: the coat does not interfere with the dog’s vision, but on the contrary, protects the sensitive eyes from irritants.
Eye redness in dogs
Fatigue, lack of sleep, stress
Everything here is like people. If we are tired and do not get enough sleep, our eyes can turn red. It’s the same with dogs. Fatigue and stress can irritate the eye. Moisturize your dog’s eyes with a special product, provide a calm and restful environment for the dog, and his eyes will quickly recover.
Stay alert. If your dog’s eyes turn red often, you need to consult a specialist. Frequent inflammation can lead to deterioration of vision, and in severe cases, loss of vision.
Dangerous causes: eye diseases
Above, we have discussed the reasons that do not require urgent treatment. Now let’s move on to common eye conditions that cause redness. The sooner you start treating them, the better.
The most common eye disease. This is an inflammatory process that can be caused either by a simple foreign body entering the eye or by an infectious disease. With conjunctivitis, the eye turns red, swells, there is a strong discharge, the eyelids can stick together.
A cataract is a clouding of the crystal of the eye that can occur at any age. Sometimes it is accompanied by an increase in intraocular pressure and, consequently, redness of the eye.
Glaucoma is an increase in intraocular pressure. As a result, the eyes turn red, watery, and increase in size.
Inversion and eversion of the eyelids
This problem is common in some dog breeds but can affect any pet. A volvulus is the bending of the eyelid towards the eyeball. In this case, there is constant friction and irritation of the cornea of the eye. If the problem is not corrected, it will eventually impair vision.
Inversion of the eyelid is when the mucous membrane “falls out” and becomes defenseless against infectious diseases.
Prolapse of the third eyelid (prolapse)
Prolapse is when the blinking membrane “floats” over a part of the eye in the form of a reddish film. This condition is very distressing to the dog. She can’t close her eyes. Dryness, irritation, reddening of the protein, inflammation occurs. The eye becomes open to infections. In most cases, this is a hereditary ailment.
Blockage of the tear duct.
Other dangerous causes of eye redness
Mechanical injury: the dog can easily injure the eye by bumping into a bush or engaging in a dog brawl on the site
Allergic reaction: may occur to any irritant, new food, or your hairspray
Infection with parasites: toxoplasmosis, chlamydia, various helminths
Malignant and benign diseases
Infectious diseases: for example, distemper
To establish the true cause of the redness and begin treatment, you need to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Do not self-medicate: it is very dangerous.
What to do if a dog’s eye turns red?
If redness of the eyes is caused by weather conditions, dust in the eye, bright light, stress, and fatigue, it is enough to rinse the eyes with warm clean water or a special lotion to clean and moisturize the eyes. After that, provide the dog with a comfortable calm environment for rest, eliminate irritants – and a healthy look will quickly return to the eyes.
But if the cause of the redness is unclear, if the redness is accompanied by a discharge (severe tearing, purulent or bloody discharge), the eye is swollen, the eyelids are in an unnatural state, and if there are any other symptoms of the dog’s discomfort, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Usually, when it turns red, the dog feels discomfort and tries to scratch the eye. This can worsen the situation and injure already irritated eyes. To prevent this from happening, wear a protective collar on the dog.
The dog has red eyes
Prevention of eye diseases is the proper care of your pet. Regular vaccination, treatment against parasites, hygiene, preventive examinations by a veterinarian, proper feeding, measures to protect the pet (walking in safe places, preventing heat and sunstroke, prohibiting communication with stray animals, etc.). If your dog is prone to eye problems, talk to your veterinarian about how to care for them.
Most importantly, contact your veterinarian for any suspicion of malaise. You are responsible for the health of your ward, and it will never be superfluous to play it safe.
We wish your dogs good health. Take care of your friends!