Eye Injuries – Foreign object in the dog’s eye

April 12, 2012

Did you know that dogs love to feel the wind on their faces while riding in a car? Some dogs love to ride in cars with their head outside the open window. Loving and doting pet owners would gladly give in to the whim of the pet not taking into consideration the fact that accident can happen, accidents that can injure the pet. The pet can get thrown out of the window, may be hit by tree branches and debris and foreign objects can get into the eyes. Though some owners wise to this fact would let their pets wear dog goggles. This is assuming that the dog would allow being encumbered by the goggles. Dogs can have a lot of problems with their eyes. Eyes are very sensitive organs and infections can result to blindness. Luckily not all eye injuries are serious. The pet would be luckier still if the owner is not a member of the “wait and see attitude” club and would take the pet to a vet once an injury is noticed.

Symptoms

Unexplained swelling especially if only one eye is affected can be due to dirt, hair or any other foreign object that was lodged in the eye. Continuous blinking and squinting is another sign that the dog has a foreign object in its eye. The eyes will tear excessively. And because the dog would continuously paw at the affected eye, rub it against the carpet or against furniture it will be irritated and bloodshot. The eye may have a pus or watery discharge. A red and raised third eyelid is an indication that all is not well with the eye. The third eyelid is on the corner of the eye nearest to the nose.

Prevention

Accidents do happen even to pets of most careful owners. As mentioned grits and small particles of dirt can enter the dog’s eye if the pet is taken on a car ride with the car windows open. You know that your dog loves the breeze on its face but you also have to ensure its safety. You can open the window but not far enough for the dog to stick it head out. A dog goggle can make your dog posh aside from protecting its eyes. Dog breeds like the pugs and the Pekingese have protruding eyes. They are more susceptible to eye injuries. It would be a good idea to keep the surrounding area where the dog is kept clean and free from debris. Regular grooming will not only enhance the appearance of the dog but it will also give you a chance to notice injuries. Regularly check the dog’s eyes for any sign of injury or infection.

Treatment

Once you noticed your dog tearing excessively, pawing his eyes and squinting and blinking, examine the eyes at once. Do be careful in approaching the dog. Even a mild mannered dog can snap at you when in pain. Gently open the eye. A loose foreign object can be flushed with clean water or a saline solution. The saline solution is better as pure water can sting. Dissolve one teaspoon table salt to two cups of boiled water. Hold your pet’s head upwards. Gently open the eyelids and use the saline solution to flush the foreign object.

Do not attempt to remove a foreign object that is embedded on the dog’s eye. This is definitely a case for the vet. You need to stop the dog from rubbing and pawing the eye. Prevent the dog from aggravating the injury by bandaging dewclaws. An Elizabethan collar made of cardboard would do for smaller pets but you may need to fashion an Elizabethan collar from a plastic bucket for a large dog.

Bring the dog at once to a veterinary facility.

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