The Dreaded Dog Eye Boogers: What to Know

Some of us are a little more obsessed than others about the drainage from our dogs eyes. Those of us who obsessively wipe, pick, and wash the tear stains, crusts, and goo from our pet’s faces know who we are!

Dog eye boogers can be no big deal, but sometimes drainage can indicate a real disaster. Schertz Animal Hospital wants to be sure that you know when to wipe and when to worry.

Dog Eye Boogers Explained

It is common and even normal for some pets to have evidence of eye drainage. The eyes are constantly producing tears, which are made up of watery, oily, and mucous components. Evidence of this may spill over onto the face.

Sometimes, though, your pet’s ocular discharge may change. You could see:

  • Watery drainage
  • White mucus-like material
  • Green or yellow discharge
  • Crusting
  • Pink to brown staining on the fur next to the eye

These can all mean very different things. Excess watering (epiphora) could mean irritation to the eye like a scratch on the cornea or seasonal allergies. Sometimes tears can spill over due to a clogged tear duct. Thick, mucousy drainage frequently accompanies dry eye, while green or yellow discharge could signal infection or conjunctivitis.

A small amount of easy-to-clean crusting can be totally normal, as can those tear stains so many white dog owners fret about. The pinkish color change happens when a pigment called porphyrin in the tears is exposed to air.

Paying attention to these things is part of good pet eye care, and it’s important that you recognize what is normal for your pet and what is not.

Ocular Emergency

Dog eye boogers are often benign, but it is important to recognize when there is a problem. Eye issues can be very serious, and quick action in the face of an ocular emergency can save a dog’s eyesight.

Be sure to call us right away if:

  • There is a sudden change in the amount or nature of your dog’s eye discharge
  • There is squinting, swelling, or redness that accompanies the discharge
  • Your dog is holding the eye closed, pawing at it, or rubbing it
  • The eye is matted shut
  • There seems to be vision changes

It can be difficult to tell the difference between many different eye issues. It is important for us to examine your pet when there is a problem to help determine how serious things might be. When eye boogers abound, know that we are around!