Eye Injuries in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Eye Injuries in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Eye Injuries in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What are Eye Injuries?

Eye injuries are common in dogs and vary greatly in severity. Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately upon noticing symptoms, as eye injuries can lead to permanent scarring or blindness. If there is a foreign object you can see, do not attempt to treat an eye injury at home without a professional veterinarian.

Injuries to the eye can lead to permanent scarring or blindness if penetrating or ulcerative lesions develop. Eye injuries include foreign bodies, scratches, perforating injuries, chemical, or contact corneal trauma. If your dog's eye is closed, she is squinting to protect it, or the eyelid is not functioning correctly, it's a definite sign of a serious medical emergency.
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Eye Injuries Average Cost

From 44 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$600

Symptoms of Eye Injuries in Dogs

  • General distress or discomfort
  • Squinting
  • Rapid blinking
  • Inability to open eye
  • Tearing
  • Bloody or bloodshot eyes
  • Avoiding bright lights
  • Pawing at the eye and face
  • Distorted pupil
  • Visible foreign object
  • Cloudiness or change in eye color
  • Discharge from eye
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Causes of Eye Injuries in Dogs

There are many causes for eye injuries in dogs, but the most common include:

  • Altercations with other animals, fighting or playing (commonly cats)
  • Vegetation, i.e. running in the woods or digging in brush
  • Dangerous projectiles such as fireworks
  • Riding in a car with head out the window

Types

Simple

A simple eye injury is a penetrating or perforating injury to either the cornea (transparent outer layer at the front of the eye) or the sclera (white of the eye). In the case of a penetrating injury, the wound or foreign object pierces the cornea or sclera, while in a perforating injury, the wound or object passes through the cornea or sclera.

Complicated

A complicated eye injury is more serious and involves a perforating injury to the cornea or sclera along with other structures of the dog’s eye. This may include the iris, retina, lens, or eyelid.

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Diagnosis of Eye Injuries in Dogs

In order to aid your veterinarian in their diagnosis, be sure to give a thorough report on when the symptoms began, if your pet is getting better or worse, and any recent situations that may have caused your dog injury (particularly any of the causes listed above). Diagnosis will determine the cause and severity of the injury. In the case of a foreign object, or visible wound (i.e., scratch), diagnosis will be easy. However, in the absence of an immediately visible cause, your veterinarian will conduct a thorough ocular examination, including evaluation of your dog’s reaction to visual stimuli (lights, objects close to the eye), evaluation of pupil size, shape, symmetry and reflexes to light. They will also stain the cornea. These tests will help determine if there is a deeper injury, irritation, or bruising as a result of blunt trauma.

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Treatment of Eye Injuries in Dogs

Simple

Simple wounds will be treated with an Elizabethan collar to prevent your dog from scratching, along with prescription antibiotic and/or atropine eye drops. Antibiotic eye drops treat and prevent bacterial infections, while atropine eye drops dilate your dog’s pupil and help relieve pain.

Complicated

More severe, complicated wounds may require surgical exploration to fully diagnose, and will require specialist surgery in order to repair your dog’s eye and restore functioning. Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as anti-inflammatory medications to relieve swelling and aid healing, and analgesics to help with your dog’s pain. Exact medications and dosages will depend upon the severity of your dog’s injury and the necessary surgery.

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Worried about the cost of Eye Injuries treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Eye Injuries in Dogs

You must monitor your dog’s injury frequently in order to track recovery. For simple wounds, monitor every day for the first few days and make note of any differences. Consult your veterinarian with any negative changes, or if the wound does not appear to be healing. For a dog recovering from corrective surgery, closely follow all of your veterinarian’s care instructions and monitor progress.

The deeper the injury is within the eye, the higher the chance for partial or total loss of vision. If your dog suffers partial or total vision loss, you must both learn to adapt to this handicap with activity and environmental changes.

However, in most cases, your dog will recover fully from the eye injury. Time for recovery depends upon the type and severity of the injury. Be sure to keep your dog away from potential causes of eye injury or irritation.

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Eye Injuries Average Cost

From 44 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$600

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Eye Injuries Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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German Shepherd

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Four Months

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12 found helpful

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12 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Blue Hazed Eye

Our puppy got a corneal laceration. We’ve been giving him the drops prescribed but now I am noticing a blue haze. Is this normal. Today has only been 3 days after his Injury.

April 10, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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12 Recommendations

No this isn't necessarily normal and may indicate corneal oedema, increased pressure and/or an infection. I would want him to see a vet right away.

April 10, 2021

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Siberian Husky

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One Year

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3 found helpful

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3 found helpful

Has Symptoms

He has a cut on top of eyelid, around his eye is swollen he can barely see out of it and there’s puss coming out.

Jan. 20, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Maureen M. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Hi, Sorry about that. The cut seems to have been infected thus the puss. The wound needs to be cleaned and the dog put on antibiotics and some anti-inflammatories to ease the swelling. Please visit your vet for treatment. Good luck.

Jan. 20, 2021

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Eye Injuries Average Cost

From 44 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$600

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