Just like humans, dogs have eye discharge for various reasons. While some dog eye discharge is normal, some eye boogers may be a sign of a health issue. If, at anytime, you have a concern about your dog’s eye discharge, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.
White or Clear Eye Discharge
Most dogs wake up with a bit of eye discharge, which can easily be cleaned away with a damp cloth or a gentle finger wipe. Often, this type of dog eye discharge is clear with a whitish tint and usually runny. Eye discharge, that has been allowed to dry throughout the day, will feel a bit dry. This is normal eye discharge.
Excess Eye Discharge
When dog eye discharge becomes excessive, it pools around a dog’s eye. Excess eye discharge can discolor a dog’s coat, especially lighter colored dogs. Eye discharge, just like saliva, can leave a rusty color on a dog’s coat. When dogs have excess eye discharge, they should see a veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for excess eye discharge, such as allergies, and it’s important to find the root cause to address it.
Thick Discharge With Color
When eye discharge becomes thick and develops a color (e.g. yellow, dark brown or green), it’s time to schedule a veterinary appointment. Thick discharge could indicate an eye infection, eye disease, inflammation of the eyelid (conjunctivitis), corneal abrasions and many other major eye issues. Don’t dismiss thick eye discharge as normal. Your dog could lose his eye(s).
Can Depend on Breed
Dog eye discharge can depend on a dog’s breed. Coated breeds (i.e. dogs with longer hair) can collect eye boogers around their eyes. If this happens, ask your groomer to trim any excess hair lingering around your dog’s eyes.
Some dog breeds that are prone to allergies can produce excess eye discharge too. Many purebred dogs develop congenital eye issues where their eyelids roll inward, causing their eyelashes to rub against their eyes. This is a very painful condition and it will never correct itself, so it’s important for a veterinarian to complete surgery if needed.
When in doubt, have your vet check it out.