Tips for looking after your dogs eyes

Beautiful eyes that come at a price. Rupert’s eyes stop people in the street, allow him to get away with almost anything and make him incredibly photogenic BUT they come with lots of concern. It’s fair to say that I’m obsessed with his eyes, checking them that is and constantly worry about kids (including my own!) poking them. He, like many other dogs I’m sure (especially brachycephalic ones) has had his share of ulcers which luckily we’ve always caught in time, he’s got dry eyes and he’s also got something called pigmentary keratitis which is a brown staining on his cornea.

So part of my evening routine, every night, is to check Rupert’s eyes. Our vets over in Wood Street, North London gave us this little check list which I find really useful and can apply to all dogs really so we wanted to share.

  • Are the eyes clear or is there any cloudiness?
  • Are they winking, holding one or both eyes shut?
  • Are they pawing at their eye? This can be an indicator of pain.
  • Is there any discharge (dry and crusty, thick, yellow, green or even blood).
  • Are they very dilated or are the pupils of different sizes – do the pupils change size in the light vs dark?
  • Is there a redness to the eye – you may need to gently lift the upper or pull down the lower eyelid to see this.
  • Does one eye look bigger than the other? Sometimes it helps to look down from above and see if one eye is more ‘forward’ than the other.
  • Can you see any foreign objects in the eye? Such as grass, small twigs etc. Sometimes the eyelids can roll in (called entropion) and contact the eye – and as the hair is not meant to do this, this would class as a foreign object.
  • Is the third eyelid visible?
  • Is there a swelling in the inside corner where the third eyelid is? (‘known as Cherry Eye’)

It’s become a ritual for us to do this, I know too many pugs with one eye or even no eyes and I’m determined not to let them happen to Rupert.

It’s a tricky one as part of a pugs charm is their features and how adorable they are. However, I’m also very aware that it’s the overbreeding that can cause lots of these problems…so after 5 years nearly of being a pug owner my way of thinking is ‘knowledge is power’ right? If people know about the work that can go into keeping dogs like pugs happy and healthy that can only be a good thing surely, being aware of different breeds potential health problems is so important. Having said all this, would I get another pug? 100%. They are worth all the effort for sure and I wouldn’t change Rupert for the world (even if I do something think he’s more high maintenance than my toddler 🤦‍♀️)

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