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Eye Care

Eye problems can run the gamut from irritation or injuries to allergies, inflammation, or infection. A swipe from a cranky cat or a brush with sharp-edged foliage can scratch your pug's cornea. Eyes can also be injured by blowing dust, dirt, or debris when a dog hangs his head out the car window. Grass seeds or particles can enter the eye when a dog runs through tall grass. During the pollen season, many dogs have mild allergies, which are manifested in red, itchy, watery eyes.

Irritation

When irritation occurs from a speck of dust or dirt, blinking usually produces tears that clean the eye. You can also bathe the eyes with preservative-free saline solution, like that used for rinsing contact lenses.

Never use any ointments or eye drops without checking first with your veterinarian. Drops containing any type of steroid that are put on an eye with a scratch or puncture can permanently damage the eye.

A normal eye is bright and shiny. If your pug is squinting and the eye appears painful, red, or cloudy, your veterinarian needs to have a look right away. Early diagnosis and treatment could save your dog's vision.

Discharge

Goopy eyes are a common affliction of dogs. Like people, dogs produce tears — a combination of mucus and water — as a way of cleansing and lubricating the eye. As the tears drain, the result is a watery or mucus-like discharge that can be clear, whitish, cloudy, light yellow, brownish, or reddish. This type of discharge is normal and can simply be wiped away with a dampened tissue, paper towel, or soft washcloth (use warm water but no soap).

Some eye discharge, though, can signal injury or disease. Thick, greenish gunk or heavy amounts of normal discharge are a clue that a visit to the veterinarian is an order. It's especially important if the eye is red or swollen or the dog is squinting or pawing at his eye.

Dealing with Eye Problems

If an irritated or runny eye doesn't improve within a day, take your dog in for a veterinary exam. Be sure you don't clean the eyes before the visit. The veterinarian needs to see the discharge to get an idea of the disease and treatment course. If you treated the eye with saline solution or some other mixture, be sure to tell the veterinarian what you used. All the information you can provide is helpful. Once the problem is diagnosed, your veterinarian will prescribe eye drops or ointments containing antibiotics or anti-inflammatories.

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