Dog Eye Injury
Learn What to Do

One way a serious dog eye injury can happen is if you let your dog stick his head out of the window while you are driving.

Sad dog with eye patch

We definitely recommend you do NOT allow your pet to travel with his head out of the window for several reasons:

  • Small particles could enter your dog's eyes (or ears) causing severe injury. Larger objects such as tree branches hanging onto a street, or road construction signs could also cause injury to a dog whose head is outside of the vehicle.
  • If the dog's head can get outside of the window, chances are his whole body can. We have seen dogs jump or fall out of open windows of vehicles and become badly injured or worse.
  • Should you be involved in an accident, a dog with his head outside of the window could, again, be seriously injured or even killed.
  • We recommend that animals riding in a vehicle be in a cage, crate, dog car restraint, or otherwise restrained.
  • How Injury and Infection Occurs

    The eye is a delicate and fragile structure that’s prone to injury through everyday activities: a rock could bounce up and strike a dog's eye while riding in the car; sand may blow into the dog's eyes while outside; a branch may strike and injure a dog's eye during a hike; and a dog or cat can easily injure the eye during play or a fight.

    Infection is one of the most common dog eye problems. A dog eye infection can occur when bacteria makes its way into the pet's eye from surrounding skin and fur.

    Airborne bacteria can find its way into the animal's eye from infected mucus that becomes airborne due to a cough or sneeze. And bacteria can also be introduced when an object comes in direct contact with the eye, so whenever a dog eye injury, infection is always a possibility.

    Disease can also affect vision. Some conditions, like cataracts and entropion (which occurs with the eyelashes grow inwards) are hereditary, while others occur spontaneously, like glaucoma.

    The key to spotting a dog's eye injury or eye infection is to understand how a pet’s eyes normally appear.

    The Symptoms of an Eye Injury or Eye Infection in Dogs, Cats and Other Pets.

    Eye injuries and eye infections can be signaled by an array of symptoms, including the following:

    • Discharge, often in shades of yellow, white and green
    • Tearing
    • Squinting
    • Bloodshot eyes
    • Redness of the pet's eyelid and surrounding area
    • Swelling of the animal's eyelid and surrounding area

    • Enlargement of the eyeball
    • Protrusion (bulging out of the socket) of the eyeball
    • Clouding of the eye
    • Debris or foreign objects in the pet's eye
    • Pupil dilation in just one eye
    • Non-responsive eyes (the pupils don’t respond to light or darkness)
    • Glassy appearance
    • Blue-tinged pupils
    • Blood in or around the eye

    In the case of a pet like a dog with a dog eye injury, flushing can temporarily lessen some of the irritation that can occur due to a dog eye discharge.

    Flushing the eye is not a substitute for antibiotics or other medical treatments, but in some cases it can lessen irritation and prevent further damage from occurring, particularly in a case where debris has come in contact with the eye.

    As soon as you can please visit your veterinarian for a professional opinion.

    Dog Eye Injury to Dog Eye Problems