At home eye cleaning and eye checks will keep your pet comfortable and free from eye related problems. Homecare is particularly important for pets that are more susceptible to eye problems such as dogs with flat noses (Brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, Pekingese, etc) and cats with long hair that can irritate the eyes. White coated pets will also benefit from regular cleaning to prevent tear staining.
Steps to eye cleaning
- Have on hand a bowl of warm water, cotton balls/squares of soft clean cloth
- Find a well lit area
- Hold your pet’s head and look for anything unusual or for changes such as redness, irritation, cloudiness, swelling, excessive weeping or for any foreign bodies. If you notice any changes or objects floating within the eye or around the eyelids please contact your veterinarian. To prevent long term damage, please do not remove foreign bodies and contact us immediately.
- If your pet’s eyes look normal you can then use a moistened cotton ball/square or cloth to wipe the eye. Use a fresh section of the cloth each time you wipe, carefully using a downward motion away from the eye.
The best way to manage tear staining is prevention. Do this by:-
- Daily cleaning with warm wet cotton balls to prevent build up.
- Regular clipping of hair around the eyes – if you are unsure or not confident at doing this please ask your veterinary healthcare team for more information.
We are often asked about products to help remove eye stains. They are available but we suggest you use them with great care or ideally avoid them.
Reasons for tear staining
There are some eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, ulcers, tear duct abnormalities including lazy tear duct syndrome that can cause over production of tears which leads to more staining.
It is best to check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about staining. Changes such as a sudden increase or onset of tear production, an inflamed eye, excessive blinking should be treated as an emergency to prevent permanent eye damage or loss.