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Common Eye Problems in Dogs

There are a variety of issues that can impact a dog's eyes, heavily affecting their quality of life. In today's post, our Vienna vets discuss come common eye problems that are seen in dogs.

Eye Issues in Dogs

If you notice any signs of an eye issue in your dog such as discharge, pain, swelling, or redness, it is a cause for concern. Common eye problems in dogs will likely require veterinary consultation since many of these disorders if left untreated, can end in blindness.

Our veterinary ophthalmology team can effectively diagnose and treat any eye conditions your dog may have.

Below are some common eye problems that dogs may experience.

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye in dogs, also referred to as the prolapse of the third eyelid tear gland, will cause your dog's third eyelid to become visible. This common eye problem in dogs causes exposure to the lacrimal gland that is located in a dog’s third eyelid.

Symptoms of this condition can include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Swelling
  • Rubbing of the eyes/squinting
  • Eye redness
  • Eye discharge
  • Impaired vision

Treatment of cherry eye will likely require surgery. It is possible for this issue to reoccur over time.


Cataracts are the loss of transparency of the eye's lens. Cataracts appear as grayish covers over the pupils and will likely require surgery to repair. This disease is often hereditary and can be considered congenital cataracts or juvenile cataracts.

Juvenile cataracts generally appear before the age of six in both eyes, although not always simultaneously. These cataracts can absorb on their own as the dog gets older and may not require surgical treatment.


Glaucoma in dogs is a very serious condition that can cause blindness if left untreated. Hereditary glaucoma is more common in breeds such as Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, or Basset hounds. Secondary glaucoma results as a symptom of another disease or trauma.

Acute glaucoma symptoms include pain, tearing, hardened eyes, corneal haze, and enlarged pupils. Chronic glaucoma enlarges and protrudes the already blind eyeball. To avoid blindness, acute glaucoma must be treated immediately.

Surgery is required to treat this condition. Even if blindness occurs, surgery may be required as the eye can still cause the dog pain.


Epiphora (eye discharge) is more considered a symptom rather than an eye disease. Epiphora in dogs is characterized by continuous tearing. The constant moisture can cause the eye area to swell and become infected. This is commonly considered to be an aesthetic problem, but can also be a sign of a foreign object stuck in a dog’s eye, which is why veterinary consultation is warranted.


Conjunctivitis in dogs, commonly known as ‘pink eye’, results in inflammation in the conjunctiva causing redness and secretion. The causes of conjunctivitis in dogs include allergies (affecting both eyes) or foreign objects stuck in a dog’s eye.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog suffering from an eye condition? Contact our Vienna vets today to book an appointment for your pup.

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Hope Advanced Veterinary Center is always accepting new patients! Our board-certified vets and specialists are passionate about restoring good health to Vienna's pets.

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