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What Causes Excessive Eye Boogers in Dogs and When Should I Be Concerned?


Dear VetBabble,

I recently noticed that my dog has been getting a lot of eye boogers. I’ve been wiping them away a couple of times a day, but is there a point where I should be concerned? Some days, they seem stickier and whiter than others. Is it possible that my dog has an eye infection that I should get checked out by a vet? I want to make sure I’m keeping my pup healthy and comfortable. Thank you!

Understanding Your Dog’s Eye Boogers: Is It Normal or a Cause for Concern?

Dear Pet Owner,

It’s great that you’re being attentive to your dog’s well-being and noticing changes in their eye area. In general, eye boogers (or eye discharge) are quite common in dogs, and there are several possible reasons why they may appear. In this article, we’ll address the following topics to help you better understand whether your dog’s situation calls for a vet visit or not:

  1. The Basics of Eye Boogers in Dogs
  2. Signs That It’s Time to See a Veterinarian
  3. Prevention and Care Tips for Your Dog’s Eyes

1. The Basics of Eye Boogers in Dogs

Eye boogers are a natural part of a dog’s eye-cleaning process. They are usually a combination of dirt, dust, and debris that have got caught in the corner of their eyes. The body produces a protective mucus layer that helps to remove these particles. As a result, dogs of all breeds can have some level of eye discharge, which may need to be wiped away gently a couple of times a day.

The amount and type of discharge that is normal can vary between individual dogs, with certain breeds being more prone to it than others. In some cases, it might be due to the shape of their face or the size and position of their eyes. You can learn more about the different common eye conditions in dogs to better understand what might be causing your dog’s eye boogers.

2. Signs That It’s Time to See a Veterinarian

There are a few other red flags that may indicate an eye infection or other issue that needs to be treated by a vet:

  • Excessive discharge or a sudden increase in the amount of discharge, especially if it’s thick, sticky, or white
  • Eyes appearing red, inflamed, or sore-looking
  • Your dog showing signs of discomfort, such as pawing at their eye or squinting
  • Any other changes in your dog’s behavior or general health, like diarrhea or loss of appetite

If your dog is showing any of these signs, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. They will be able to assess your dog’s condition and conduct a thorough examination to determine if there is an underlying problem that requires attention.

3. Prevention and Care Tips for Your Dog’s Eyes

Whether your dog has occasional eye boogers or seems to have them more frequently, there are some steps you can take to keep their eyes clean and healthy:

  • Gently wipe away the eye boogers with a clean, damp cloth or cotton ball to prevent irritation or the build-up of debris
  • Keep the hair around your dog’s eyes trimmed to reduce the chances of any irritation and to help prevent the accumulation of eye discharge in the hair
  • Keep your dog’s ears clean and check for possible ear infections, as they can sometimes be connected to eye issues
  • Clean your dog’s ears regularly, following your veterinarian’s recommendations

By monitoring changes in your dog’s eye condition and practicing preventative care, you can help ensure their eye health and overall well-being. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt or concerned about your dog’s eyes or general health, it’s always a good idea to reach out to your veterinarian for guidance.

Wishing you and your dog the best of health!


The VetBabble Team

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