Dogs and Cats

Why Dogs Eyes Red? 9 Reasons You Should Know

Much like your own eyes, your dog’sMuch like your own eyes, your dog’s eyes will become red if they are suffering from an infection, irritation due to a foreign object, dry eyes, or physical trauma. Our Greensboro Board Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist and team share the causes and treatments for red eyes in dogs.

What Causes a Dog’s Red Eyes?

Red eyes in your dog can occur for a number of reasons, such as trauma, foreign objects in the eye, allergies, and a variety of eye diseases like glaucoma, conjunctivitis, and dry eye. If your dog has red eyes, you can treat some problems at home, but there are some that require a trip to the vet. In order to determine the exact cause of your dog’s eye problems, your veterinarian will perform a thorough ophthalmologic examination and a number of different tests. Once you understand the cause of your dog’s red eyes, you can treat him accordingly.

1: Corneal Ulceration

The clear membrane covering the front of the eye is called the cornea. A bacterial infection may spread to your dog’s eye if she manages to get something foreign into it or scratches the cornea. As the bacteria multiply, the cornea is destroyed. This hurts a lot.

2: Eye Trauma

You may observe some of the following signs if your dog bangs her eye while chasing or playing:

  • Tears flooded the eye immediately following the incident
    Swelling and reddening of the eyelids
  • Reddening of the tissues around the eye
  • Reddening of the sclera

3: Irritation

Your dog’s eyes may get red and irritated if they come into contact with a foreign object such dirt, dust, grass, or hair. Additionally, perfume and cleaning sprays have the potential to cause eye irritation in your dog. Irritation Signs: Itchy eyes and water in eyes


Before putting any treatment on your pet, you need to get the OK from your veterinarian first. They could offer to carefully flush out your dog’s eyes with tepid water, but be sure to decline this offer. Watch for a full disappearance of the redness after an hour or two has passed.

4: Allergies

Just like people, dogs may have allergies, too. They may also be sensitive to environmental allergens such as dust, mould, household cleaners, and other environmental irritants in addition to food allergies and seasonal allergies. Any one of these allergies has the potential to make a dog’s eyes seem red and puffy.

Signs of Allergies

  • Licking and scratching
  • Sneezing
  • Red or irritated skin
  • Hair loss

5: Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the tissue that covers the eye that causes itching. This condition is also known as “pinkeye” or “red eye.” Sometimes it only affects one eye at a time, but it can quickly spread to both. There are several different types of conjunctivitis, ranging from allergy- or injury-induced pinkeye to a contagious viral version. You can help relieve dog’s discomfort at home (see below), but conjunctivitis should always be treated by your veterinarian to prevent further illness or eye damage.


• Excessive blinking or squinting
• Redness or swelling around the eyes
• Sticky, yellow or greenish discharge


• Artificial tears
• Cold compress to relieve swelling
• Over-the-counter antihistamines (check with your vet before administering)
• Antibiotic eye drops or ointment

6: Dry eye syndrome

KCS, or “dry eye,” occurs when your dog’s tear ducts don’t produce enough tears. It can be caused by injury or a weakened immune system, and may lead to infection or corneal ulcers.


• Eye redness
• Inflammation
• Artificial tears
• Antibiotic eye drops
• Immunosuppressant drugs

7: Uveitis

Uveitis is a painful inflammation of certain structures in your dog’s eye collectively called the uvea. It’s typically a secondary condition, meaning you can treat some symptoms at home, but will want to go to the vet to identify and treat the primary condition that caused it.


• Intense reddening of the eye
• Cloudiness
• Severe pain


• Topical eye medication like corticosteroid or anti-inflammatory drops/ointments
• Pain relief medication

8: Corneal abrasion or ulcer

The front surface of the eyeball is covered by a thin membrane called the cornea, which is clear and glossy. Corneal ulcers are almost often the result of some kind of injury, such as being scratched when sprinting through bush or having your eyes irritated by dust. Dry eye syndrome is another possible reason, especially if it is not addressed.


• Excessive rubbing
• Squinting or keeping eyes closed


• Antibiotic eye drops or ointment
• Prescription pain medication

9: Breed issues

Do the eyes of your dog often get bloodshot and droopy? Simply put, certain breeds of dogs are more predisposed to eye problems than others, and they include:
• Brachycephalic, or flat-faced, breeds like Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, and Pugs
• Breeds with loose, droopy skin like Bloodhounds and Newfoundlands


• Conduct regular eye health checks to monitor signs of irritation
• Keep the hair around eyes trimmed and clean
• Use eye drops or ointments as indicated by your vet

How to treat bloodshot eyes in dogs

To clean your dog’s eye, you may use an eyewash specifically designed for dogs or a saline solution. If you want to prevent your dog from pawing and clawing at his eye, you may want to consider using an Elizabethan collar on him. It is in everyone’s best interest to have a veterinarian examine your canine companion’s eyes to ensure that there are no issues.

Dog has red eyes and not eating what to do?

Why are my dogs eyes red around the outside? Squinting, keeping the eye closed, discharge from the eye, redness of the eye, lethargy, poor appetite, or diminished playfulness are all signs that may indicate that your dog has a corneal ulcer. If you see any of these symptoms, it is imperative that you take your dog to a qualified veterinarian as soon as you can.

Dogs eye is red and swollen causes?

Your dog may paw at their eye, blink, or squint if they have conjunctivitis since the disease may be very irritating for them. You may also notice clear or green discharge from the eye or that the white of the eyes, eyelids or region around your dogs eye are inflamed and swollen



Why Dogs Eyes Red?  Try dog red eyes home remedy for better results. Your veterinarian will probably inquire about your dog’s recent activities, daily routines, and medical history when you bring them in for an examination of their red eyes. In order to look for underlying medical concerns, they’ll do an eye examination and maybe take blood. The veterinarian may inquire about your dog’s surroundings, including if anybody in your home smokes, the household cleaners you use, and the food you feed your dog, if allergies are suspected. Your veterinarian will be able to identify the cause of the redness, provide the proper therapy, and offer you information on how to care for your dog at home more effectively with your help. Both dogs and their vision are priceless. It’s recommended to speak with your veterinarian if you’re interested in learning why your dog’s eyes are red.

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