If you have noticed fluid coming out of Fido’s eyes, you might have assumed that you’re your dog is crying. However, technically speaking, dogs cannot cry in the way that humans do. If a dog’s eyes are discharging liquid it is an indication that something is wrong.
Just about every creature with eyes has tear ducts of some sort, as fluid is critical to keeping the eye functioning. A dog’s tear ducts drain the liquid back into the dog’s nose and throat area. However, if these tear ducts become blocked in some way, tears may begin flowing out of the eyes. This eye discharge is referred to as epiphora in dogs. If you notice this condition in your dog, a veterinarian should be consulted.
While epiphora is not a disease or condition in itself, it is a sign of an issue with the dog’s eyes. Epiphora is not hard to spot, as the area around the dog’s eyes will likely be damp to fluid leaking out of the eye. Prolonged epiphora can cause issues such as skin irritation, typically resulting in reddish or brown patches of fur. If a dog’s face is constantly damp, it is possible that epiphora is the cause.
It is very important that you do not let this type of situation go untreated. There are many different causes for epiphora. Corneal ulcers, conjunctivitis, abnormal eyelashes, allergies, eye infections, and glaucoma are all conditions that can cause issues with your dog’s tear ducts. Each of these issues can in turn cause the fluid to leak from your pet’s eye. Treatment of the condition depends on which issue is causing the problem.
Certain breeds of dogs are at greater risk for epiphora then others, for instance the Papillion is very susceptible to epiphora. The anatomical design of a dog’s face can also play a role in how the fluid stays in puppy’s eye. Dogs that have squished in or flat faces may typically experience more leakage than other dogs. This is especially true in dogs that have lots of hair around the eyes.
In certain cases, your vet may need to intervene in order to re-open your pup’s tear ducts, thus hopefully allowing things to function properly once again. In this case, your veterinarian will first anesthetize your dog and flush out its eyes using a special instrument. Usually this is enough to open up the ducts and get things working properly again. In some cases the dog may need surgery to help correct the issue, but it just depends on the dog and his or her particular situation.