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What are Eye Injuries?

Eye injuries are common in dogs and greatly vary in severity. Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately upon noticing symptoms, as eye injuries can lead to permanent scarring or blindness. Even 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 for sure 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 diagnosis, be sure to give a thorough report on when the symptoms began, if they are 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. 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 or atropine eye drops. Antibiotic eye drops treat bacterial infections, while atropine eye drops dilate your dog’s pupil and help relieve pain. In some cases, your veterinarian will prescribe a soft contact lens to protect the wound.

Complicated

More severe, complicated wounds may require surgical exploration to fully diagnose, and will require 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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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 they 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

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Mixed breed

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Puffy Eye

I took my dog to the groomer today and when I got him back he kept scratching at his eye and screeched a little and he keeps rubbing it! I didn’t see it until I was home but when I pulled it down it was wet, red and puffy.

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It would be best to have your dog seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Perhaps his eye got some soap in it, or an eyelash, but it is possible that he has an ulcer or some other irritation to his eye. Having him seen sooner rather than later would be better as far as getting treatment going for his eye. I hope that all goes well for him.

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Pit Bull

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Eleven Weeks

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

My dog went to dog park yesterday and it look irritated..he was rolling in dirt. I was wondering can we put dog eye drops in his eye or what to do?

Aug. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It would be best not to put any eye drops in his eyes, as dogs and people's eyes are a little bit different as far as drops that might be needed. You can take a warm washcloth and gently clean the eyewith it closed, and keep a close eye on whether it becomes more or less red. If he is squinting, pawing at the eye, or there is green or yellow discharge, then it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. If he got a little bit of dust in his eye and it is a little bit red, that should resolve over a day or two. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 26, 2020

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Pit Bull

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Squinting , Winking

My dog just had puppies about two weeks ago and we let her outside and now her eye is shut and she is winking like she is in pain.

Aug. 17, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Hello- Thank you for your question. With the acute squinting I am concerned that she may have injured her eye while outside. I would recommend taking her to your veterinarian where he or she can examine the eye and perform a fluoroscein stain on the eye to look for an ulcer. They will also be able to provide pain medication and appropriate medication to help the eye heal. Eyes can worsen quickly so I would recommend having her examined as soon as possible. I hope she heals quickly.

Aug. 17, 2020

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Pug and chihuahua

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Red Eye

We took our Bosco to get groomed yesterday and about a half hour after we got home we noticed the whites in his right eye were very red. A dark red too. We do not see any swelling, discharge or cuts and it does not seem to bother him. He’s not pawing at it or squinting or anything. I am still worried as to why and what could happen. We do have a cat as well and they play but she has never scratched him in the 4 years they have been together. We also have a back yard he plays in but not a lot of vegetation for him to be in and get poked in the eye with. What should we do? Thank you.

Aug. 7, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If there is an increase in pressure on the neck, if your groomer had a leash and Bosco was jumping around or pulling at it, that can cause rupture of the vessels in the white part of the eye. It would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine his eyes and make sure that nothing is going on that needs treatment. They will be able to let you know more what might be going on once they have been able to examine him eyes closely. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 8, 2020

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Rottweiler

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11 months

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Squint

White ring around the outside of the eye, started to squint At 8am and then noticed only 6 hours later he had a white halo around the outside of his left eye, still squinting, eye looks inflamed.

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. He may have an infection, a trauma to his eye, or a corneal problem that is causing this. Since it does not seem to be getting better, and actually seems to be progressing, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to examine him, look at his eye, and let you know what medications he needs so that he is better. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Moose

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Rottweiler

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4 Weeks

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Eye

We got a 4 week old rottweiler about a week ago. Myself and kids were outside and my 18 month old picked up our dog Moose and by accident he slipped from his hands and Moose yelped in pain. The next day and days on his eye started turning whiteish grey. Took him to the vet and they cant see the back of his eye and gave him Timolol. Told us to come back in 2 weeks to see how the drops are doing for him. Mouse's eye is just getting worse, more white/grey and swollen. We are concerened he is blind. HELP.

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Wyatt

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Mix

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9 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Tired
Bloodshot Eyes
Discomfort
Pawing/Scratching At Face

My dog is kind of old but he’s always had good health except when he got into fights. But a few days ago my family has noticed he’s looked sick and has these red bloodshot eyes. Now he’s been constantly scratching his face. I don’t know if dogs can get eye bags but the area around his eyes are darker and looks a bit more sunken in. Is he dying?? I’m really concerned. We never really took him to a vet before because the information we know about him is low. He’s an outside dog and has many ticks even though we try our best to clean him. And he also likes digging into the ground a lot if any of these help. Please help

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leo

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Boston Terrier

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Bite Mark, Red Eye, Popping Out

My dog got bit by a golden retriever, My vet told me that that the bite on top of his head affected one of the muscles that control his eye. his right eye is red, and its pointing to the right side of his head, and he look like he has a sever lazy eye, and his eye is popping out of its place as its inflamed. I use eye drops and oral antibiotics. I am wondering if his eye is gonna go back to normal after a few days ? or its gonna stay the same way. Can a surgery be done to fix his eye from looking like a lazy eye? he seems fine and playful as if nothing has happened,

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Olive

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French Bulldog

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6 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Excessive Blinking
Watering

My dogs eye is watering, she is blinking frequently and I noticed the eye isn’t opening as much as the other eye. Her scelera (spelling) is more apparent on this eye, too. It started within the last 24-48 hours.

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Isabelle

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Shih Tzu

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Allergies
Reddish Pinkish Patch

I was playing with my 4 year old shihtzu Isabelle and accidentally elbowed her in the eye . She cried a little than walked away she squinted her eye little . Than I checked the eye and I see a little patch on her eye near the brown part of her eye it was a pinkish cloudy patch . And she had allergies in that eye also so I’m pretty scared if she is gonna go blind on that eye or something . What should I do ?

Eye Injuries Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$600

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For dogs and cats

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