Eye Injuries in Dogs

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

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

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

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

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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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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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Ask a Vet

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Pit Bull

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Eleven Weeks

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

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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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3 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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2 found helpful

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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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Eye Injuries Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$600

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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