Is It Allergies or a Common Eye Problem In Your Dog?


So many dogs will show signs of having an issue with their eyes at some point in their lives, but there are certain dog breeds that are more prone to common eye problems.  During the spring and summer months, it can be difficult to determine if your furry friend is having an allergic reaction to the scents and debris in the air or if he has one of the many eye problems that are common to dogs.  No matter what kind of eye problem you think your dog may have, it is recommended that you visit your veterinarian right away so they can determine exactly what’s going on.

If your dog is experiencing allergies, typically their eyes will exhibit signs of redness, puffiness, and watering.  These same symptoms could even be a sign that your dog has injured his eye in some way, so the symptoms are never clear to the pet owner what exactly the problem is.  In addition to allergies or injury, there are a number of other common eye problems that could be plaguing your dog.  The most common eye problem that dogs experience is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. This issue is common to all dog breeds, and symptoms include swollen, red or weepy eyes, along with a discharge.  This eye problem can be treated at home, but must first be diagnosed by your veterinarian.

An eye problem most commonly found in German Shepherds and Grey Hounds is called superficial keratitis or what is more commonly known as degenerative pannus.  This affects the superficial blood vessels and pigmentation of the dog’s eye.  Though not painful, it can cause the dog to go blind, so treatment by your veterinarian is a must.  Signs include redness or cloudiness at the outer edge of the cornea and if left untreated, can slowly progress to involve the entire cornea.  Pannus is treated with topical anti-inflammatory medications including a topical steroid and cyclosporine.

The Bulldog, Chihuahua, Neapolitan Mastiff, Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, and Pekinese dog breeds are prone to an eye problem called Cherry Eye. It is most common in puppies and appears as a red mass in the inner corner of the eye, and is sometimes mistaken for a tumor.  Cherry eye correction involves a surgery in which the gland is repositioned to its normal location.

If you notice any change in your dogs eyes, first take them to your veterinarian for proper diagnosis in order to properly determine what the best course of treatment is.  Hopefully it will turn out to just be allergies!


  1. My 19 month year old german shepard has a bit of reddish brown discoloration of the outer white (sclera) part only, that seems to come and go, he also paws at his eyes sometimes, the vet refereed him to a opthamologist, we are waiting for the appointment on the 15th, Does anyone else have or had this problem with their shepard?Otherwise he is normal great appetitie, the vet said it wasn’t allergies, ant thoughts on that? thank you

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