Are you the proud owner of a Boston Terrier? Then you probably know how intelligent, high-spirited, affectionate, and loving they can be. The Boston Terrier is one of the most popular breeds out there, easily recognized by their large, wide-set eyes. But, as with other bull-type breeds, the Boston Terrier has developed a series of health issues resulting from their unnaturally short face. Specifically, they are more prone to skin and eye problems. Which is why you might often notice tears coming from your pup’s eyes and think to yourself… Have I done something to upset him? Before reaching for the tissues, you should find out more about your dog’s health predisposition and how you can improve it.
The Root of the Behavior
It is true that Boston Terriers are quite individualistic: some lively and exuberant, while others calm and dignified, even placid. One thing they all have in common though, is the need for social interaction and companionship, with a special affinity for the elderly. It’s not that hard to imagine that, due to the great level of emotion they often display, some owners might believe it’s possible for them to cry. However, dogs cannot cry in the same way humans do. If your Boston Terrier is shedding some tears, it’s probably because something is wrong… healthwise. Due to the way they are bred, Boston Terriers are more susceptible to eye problems, breathing, and whelping difficulties. Their eyes are especially sensitive and can develop diseases such as corneal ulcerations, corneal dystrophy, cherry eyes, cataracts, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, and the list goes on.
Generally known as epiphora, the condition in itself is not a disease, but it is a sign that there is an issue with your dog’s eye that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. This happens when the tear duct becomes compromised by a blockage so excess liquid begins to drain from the eyes in the appearance of tears. You will recognize the condition by the damp hair around your pup’s eyes and the brownish color in his white-haired coat. You can also spot these issues by monitoring your dog’s behavior and look for signs such as squinting, redness and swelling, white cornea spots, dry or cloudy eyes, frequent blinking to relieve irritation, and difficulty seeing. Some dog breeds are more susceptible to developing an epiphora than others such as the Shih Tzu, Bulldog, Pug, and your very own Boston Terrier. Pay close attention to your dog’s eye condition and take him to the vet as soon as you come across any abnormalities.
Encouraging the Behavior
Getting your pup’s eyes examined is the best thing you can do. The vet will check for inflammation and ulcers on the surface of the cornea, as well as any third eyelids or dry areas. Most importantly, they will provide your furry friend with proper medical treatment, which usually consists of antibiotics or in some cases, even surgery. The veterinarian may need to flush out the dog’s tear duct if the condition does not improve. If the vet prescribes a medication to encourage tear production, you'll most likely need to use it twice a day. Before you get too worried about your pup’s upcoming medical treatment, you need to know that he will be sedated during the entire procedure and that, in most cases, flushing is enough to get the tear duct working again.
Allergies can also cause your pup to “cry,” as the eyes can become itchy and red. A dog can develop eye allergies from pollen in the air, dust, mold, or air pollutants. Be sure to consult with your veterinary professional and use an antihistamine or eye drops to help relieve the condition. However, do not use any medication on your dog without first asking your veterinarian. Removing the allergens from your dog’s space will also help ease his watery eyes and improve his overall wellbeing.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you want to take better care of your Boston Terrier at home, you can do just that by following these simple steps. First, apply a warm, damp washcloth to the outside of his eyes and wipe around the eye gently, avoiding the eyelashes. Make sure you use soft, calming gestures so that your pup feels totally relaxed and safe with the procedure. You can even speak gently to your dog to keep him calm. Finish with a tasty treat reward and periodically examine your dog’s eyes to check for any signs of unwanted eye disorders. After all, prevention is better than cure.
A crying dog is never what it appears to be. Sadness-induced tears are not a part of your pup’s genetic construction, but they can, however, reveal a certain medical issue. Glaucoma, allergies, eyelashes, conjunctivitis, and corneal ulcers can all play a role in your dog’s watery eye symptom, but in the case of the brachycephalic dog (which includes the Boston Terrier), the condition is usually mild and may not need serious treatment at all. Let your vet establish the correct diagnosis and wipe away the tears from your pup’s eyes.