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Eye Puss in Dogs

| Updated September 26, 2017

Among the many problems evident in dogs are eye puss and discharge. For pet owners, identifying the root cause of this issue and treating it can prove difficult, as eye puss and discharge and dogs can stem from any number of factors. Fortunately, there are ways to go about identifying root causes of eye puss in dogs and treating this issue as well.


The most common eye disease in all animals, including dogs, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of mucous membranes. Symptoms include red, watery eyes, as well as discharge, due to an increased flow of blood and swelling mucous membranes. This is often caused by viruses or bacteria, though parasites, such as fleas and ticks, can occasionally lead to conjunctivitis as well. According to licensed veterinary ophthalmologist Ralph Hamor, "keeping the eye clean and eliminating the cause of conjunctivitis with appropriate medication are keys to control." Most medication is available over the counter, though more severe cases may require medication prescribed by a veterinarian.


Blepharitis is an infection of the eyelid's edges, which can result in red skin and a thick discharge of the eye, particularly when the eyes are exposed to light. Causes of blepharitis include but are not limited to allergies to food and dog cleaning products, insect/flea bites, dermatitis and injuries from a cat's claw. Blepharitis is usually treated with a warm compress and eye cleaning solution such as Eye Scrub, available at most pharmacies.


An inflammation of the sclera, the white outer coat of the eyeball, scleritis often results from a parasitic disease, such as lyme disease. It tend to involved only one eye, and symptoms include hard, lumpy skin and a puss-like discharge from the eye. It is typically treated by a veterinarian with steroids, but if not treated for a while, can result in a loss of the eye.


According to Hamor, uveitis is "an inflammation of part or all of the uveal tract (the middle layer of the eye)" and is a common eye problem in animals and humans. Symptoms include excess tears and watery eyes, a puss-like discharge and sensitivity to light. It is typically treated with steroids by a licensed vet, but if left untreated, can result in the loss of an eye.


A condition in which the eyelashes turn inward, entropion's main symptoms are excessive eye watering and a puss-like discharge. To treat, clean the eyes with a warm compress or wet cotton towel, making sure to use a separate compress/pad for each eye. Trim the hair around the eyes in long-haired dogs to prevent dry matting.