A number of issues can lead to (epiphora), also known as, excessive tearing and eye drainage in dogs. Some dog breeds such as cockerel spaniel, Maltese, toy poodle and the Shih Toy are typical examples of dogs that are prone to this condition, as well as dogs that possess short noses such as the pug.
Dogs suffer when the nasal and facial skin folds up and gather moisture from tears, wicks it along their hair. This provides a conducive environment for bacteria to thrive.
It’s worst when dogs rub and paw at their faces, thereby compounding the problem by inviting not only bacteria but dirt and fungi which causes more damage to their eye surfaces and skin.
Excessive tearing and eye drainage could get worst because, the discharge produced may cause an offensive odour, and this may cause normal bacteria living on these surfaces to proliferate. This requires daily attention if you notice it’s gotten to this stage, in order to keep inflammation of the skin and smell under control.
Reasons why dogs have excessive tearing
Uncontrollable tearing in dogs may be as a result of overproduction of tears or blockage of their tear ducts. Hair, inflammation, tumours, cornea injury, congenital malfunction and scarring are potential causes of tear duct blockage or impairment.
Other natural causes may be as a result of the following :
It’s no surprise if dry eyes affect your pet because humans find dry eyes considerably discomforting not to mention dogs. Dry eyes in dogs can cause excess production of tears and yucky discharge. Dogs suffering from dry eyes need to be attended to immediately.
The fur on the body of dogs makes it easy for hair to travel into their eyes causing irritation. What is more is, some breeds of dogs have even extra-long eyelashes that grow inward(distichiasis), rather than outward, that causes discomfort to their eyes. Pets that experience distichiasis not only get uncomfortable but may experience excessive tearing resulting from the irritation.
One best way to solve it is through eyelid surgery, and the tearing stops on its own once the cause of irritation is eliminated.
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye is a contagious disorder that commonly causes the eyes to produce pus or greenish discharge and can also cause pain.
How it’s treated
It’s crucial that you take your dog for a check-up at the vet immediately you notice any of the signs stated above. Having your veterinary examine your dog’s eyes by using a harmless and painless dye referred to as fluorescein.
The dye is used to determine if the tear ducts are draining the way they ought to. The dye is also used to rule out ulcer of the cornea.
Once the vet has been able to determine that the issue is treatable, then he or she may suggest over-the-counter products to tackle the tear staining or the hair discolouration that may be caused by excessive tearing and drainage. Stay away from bleaching products. They aren’t ideal due to the fact that they can cause more damage to the eyes.
Other alternatives that don’t require surgery may include further vet interventions and by minimising the progression of the tearing;
- A warm compress may help reduce irritation caused by inflammation around the eyes.
- Ophthalmic antibiotics may also be used both in your dog’s eyes and on its skin, but make sure it is what your vet prescribes.
- You could also use oral antibiotics prescribed by your pet doctor.
- An e-collar on your dog is highly recommended to reduce rubbing and scratching. Especially if the irritation isn’t treated completely.
However, there are some cases where the irritation becomes untreatable, simply because some dogs have little, none or malformed test ducts or facial folds that irritates the rest drainage. This problem can be corrected using surgery, although, some are quite difficult to repair. Extra care must be taken since the problem involves the eyes so that further damage doesn’t occur.
Preventing excessive tearing
It’s advantageous if your dog has no underlying health problems. This makes prevention of excessive tearing and the production of offensive odour treatable through the following procedures:
- Visit your veterinarian consistently.
- Find the time to trim overgrown hair around your dog’s eyes and keep them as short as possible.
- Depends on how excessive the tearing is, ensure to clean around the area of the year to prevent further problems from occurring.