Top 10 Reasons Dogs Red Eyes: Symptoms, Causes, and When to Worry

Dogs get red eyes due to many reasons, and many are easily corrected and do not cause much concern. However, if you notice your dogs red eyes, you should definitely look into the situation as soon as possible.

Before knowing what can go wrong and how to treat these issues, you need to know that the first step in dealing with swollen, red eyes is to call your vet and determine whether to bring your dog. Eye infections should be treated as an emergency because there are many causes of inflammation, and some of these causes can lead to vision loss.

dogs red eyes

Dogs Red Eyes Reasons, why dogs’ eyes swell

The causes of eye infections in dogs are as different as those for us.

This can be secondary to irritants such as soap or fumes or to aggressive foreign matter such as dust, hair, and grass. Viruses such as distemper, herpes, hepatitis, and canine influenza can also cause eye infections. Fungus and parasites are also known to result in inflammation in the eyes.

Examples of bacteria that cause eye infections are tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, leptospirosis, or canine brucellosis. Even just a cut or scratch on the eye can cause some swelling while it heals.

Still, other causes can be dry eye, vitamin deficiencies, tumors, toxicity, tear duct problems, or eyelid abnormalities, such as entropion (rolling of the eyelids). This is why it is so important to consult a pet veterinarian. The causes of eye inflammation in dogs are almost endless, and you are likely to have trouble figuring it out on your own.

Infections that cause dogs red eyes

what causes red eyes in dogs

Infection is one of the most common causes of swollen eyes or dogs red eyes, and it can occur in different locations of the eye. There are many reasons that cause redness or swelling of your dogs red eyes.

Let’s talk about some of them. These conditions are diagnosed by a vet.

Dogs red eyes due to foreign objects or injury

If your puppy is injured in the eye area, or you notice that his eyes suddenly turn red, he may have a foreign object in his eye. Anything that gets into your puppy’s eyes can irritate him and cause redness. The item could be small, such as a piece of sand, or your dog could have an eye injury as if a stick was stuck in his eye.


Your dog has redness, swelling, and discomfort (especially if it is in just one eye)

Your dog is patting his eye and has trouble keeping it open

excessive tearing.


Examine your puppy’s eye to see if you can spy the offending object. Use dog eyewash or saline solution to flush out your dog’s eye. You may need to put on a collar to protect your puppy from scratching and pawing over his eyes. It is best to have your puppy’s eye examined by a vet to make sure everything is clear.

If something is stuck in your puppy’s eye, do not attempt to remove it. Take your puppy to the vet as soon as possible.

Dogs red eyes due to conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Conjunctivitis usually occurs in one eye. The coating of the eye tissue causes swelling, and the eye becomes red.


blink or blink

swelling and redness

watery discharge, either clear or with some mucus


If your puppy’s eyes are pink, take him to the vet. The vet can determine the real cause of the problem and prescribe the correct treatment. Your dog may need certain medications for the inflammation, or if a bacterial infection is present, he may need an antibiotic ointment.

In rare cases, your puppy may need surgery. If a blocked tear duct causes his problem, your vet will need to remove the blockage.

Dry eye in dogs

If your puppy suffers from dry eyes, he may not be producing enough tears to lubricate his eyes. His eyes may become very dry and red.


thick, yellow, or white mucus around the eyes

blurry, dull eyes

frequent eye infections

excessive blinking


You can use different eyewashes to help keep your baby’s eyes moist and clean. Talk to your vet about your dog’s best options and consider whether a prescription may be needed.

Eye disease in dogs

Glaucoma is a serious problem caused by fluid buildup and pressure in the eye. If glaucoma is not treated promptly, it can lead to blindness.


rubbing eyes with paws or rubbing eyes on the floor

students of different sizes


excessive squint

redness and swelling

vision loss

blurry eyes

sensitivity to light


Your vet will prescribe medications to treat your puppy’s glaucoma. In some cases, your pup may need surgery, or his eye may need to be removed.

dogs red eyes problem
dogs red eyes problem

Dogs red eyes due to Corneal ulcer

These ulcers are usually caused by injury, such as a scratch on the eye. The thin membrane at the front of the eye wears out and causes trauma to the eye.


in appearance


pat your eyes or rub your eyes on the floor

eye drainage

sensitivity to light

Treatment for red eyes in dogs

If the ulcers are not severe, your vet will prescribe antibiotic eye drops and recommend that your dog wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent paws in his eye. For more severe cases, your puppy may need surgery or a corneal transplant. In some cases, your puppy may wear a soft contact lens over his cornea until it heals.

Dogs red eyes due to Uveitis

Uveitis occurs when the tissue at the front of your dog’s eye becomes inflamed and causes redness and pain. If not addressed quickly, this condition can lead to blindness.


redness and swelling

excessive tearing

small, uneven student


blurry or dull eyes

Eye color changes or becomes uneven


Your dog vet will prescribe a combination of antibiotic ointments and oral medications and drops for the eyes. In very rare cases, it may be necessary to remove the eye.

Additional infections in dogs

Infection can also be caused by abnormalities in the eyelids, cornea (outer surface of the eye), or tear glands, as you can see. Infection is not a direct cause and can occur in many places within the eye. 

Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose and treat most cases; however, sometimes, a specialist is needed if it is more severe and causes vision loss.

Are some dogs more prone to eye problems?

While any dog ​​can suffer from red eyes, some breeds are more prone to eye problems than others. Breeds that have long facial hair, large dogs, and flat-faced breeds are all more vulnerable to specific eye problems.

How to keep your dog’s eyes healthy

While sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent your dogs red eyes, there are several things you can do to keep your dog’s eyes as healthy as possible:

Keep the hair around your dog’s eyes trimmed.

Clean your dog’s eyes with a soft, damp cloth as needed.

 If your puppy is a breed prone to eye problems, use eyewash to clean his eyes regularly.

Don’t let your puppy hang his head from the car window while driving; This makes him an easy target for foreign objects that can fly into his eyes.

Get your puppy’s eyes checked regularly by your vet.

Dogs red eyes breeds that are more prone to blepharitis are:

shih tzu

Chow Chow

Chinese Shar-Pei



English Bulldog, Pekingese

Lhasa Apso


labrador retriever

Golden Retriever

If you have one of these breeds, make sure you are paying attention to dogs red eyes on a regular basis. And noticing signs of swelling, redness, or watering.

dogs eyes swollen and red eyes treatment

To treat any type of eye inflammation in dogs, you will need to take your dog to the vet. If your primary vet is off and your pet needs immediate medical attention, contact an emergency vet immediately.

After gathering the information, your vet will begin the full exam. To evaluate the eye more closely, your vet may use dimming. And may use an ophthalmoscope to assess the external and internal structures of your pet’s eye. This will help your vet to localize the exact area of ​​concern within the eye and to judge the severity of the condition.

Common tests include the Schirmer tear test, fluorescein stain, and intraocular pressure. The Schirmer tear test measures the tear production of the eye. The fluorescein stain looks for ulcers or scratches on the outer surface of the eye. Intraocular pressure looks for internal pressure changes within the eye that may raise suspicion of glaucoma (increased pressure) or uveitis (low pressure).

Your vet may also collect cells or secretions from the eye to check for mites, fungus, or bacteria. Finally, if there is a concern of systemic infection causing uveitis, additional tests that may be recommended are blood count, chemistry, and urinalysis. These tests are done to assess the overall health of your pet.

Dog red eyes home remedy

You should always call your vet and talk about home remedies before applying them, but there are options to try, especially if you think it is probably some debris that has gotten into the eye.

Lukewarm water with salt

If so and your vet agrees, you can start by adding half a teaspoon of salt to lukewarm water. Spray it gently on your dog’s eyes and wipe off the excess with a clean cotton pad. There are also sterile plain saline eye washes at the human pharmacy you can use.

Hot compress

You can use a warm cloth to apply light pressure to your pet’s eye for 5-10 minutes to relieve swelling. Make sure the washcloth isn’t too hot by first applying it to the inside of your wrist.

Benadryl dog red eyes home remedy

And finally, if you think it’s related to allergies, you can give a small dose of Benadryl to relieve swelling and itching. Just be sure to call your vet and discuss your dog’s breed and weight, so you don’t overdo the dosage.

If your dog is swollen and the dog’s eyes are red, See the Vet

Remember to call your pet vet as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the worse it can get. Your vet will work with you and your dog to determine the cause of the swelling and then create a treatment plan to bring him back to his normal self.

If you ever notice anything with your puppy’s eyes, whether it’s redness, swelling, or your dog is often yawning on his face, get him checked out by the vet. Your dogs red eyes can be caused by a common problem that can be easily corrected. For more helpful dog tips, check out the rest of our blog! You’ll find all kinds of useful information and great resources to help keep your pup happy and healthy!

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