Common dog diseases

What Causes Red Eyes in Dogs

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Causes Red Eyes in Dogs

Have you seen that your dog has red eyes? We don't want to cause drama, but if your pet has swollen bloodshot eyes then you should pay attention and find the underlying problem. This inflammation can be down to various factors such as excess blood in the eyelids (hyperaemia) or blood vessels. On we tell you what causes red eyes in dogs so you know the most common causes of this condition and then you can find out what to do if your dog has red eyes immediately.

You may also be interested in: What Causes a Sty On a Dog's Eye

Steps to follow:


Some bloodshot eyes may cause a slight problem as a slight irritation or by rubbing against someone's leg or because the dog has got some nasty dirt in the eyes. But it can also be something more serious like an acute glaucoma (increased intraocular pressure) which can cause loss of vision in the eye - it's true. They are two very different things in origin and evolution, and they even need different forms of treatment.

If you know that your pet suffers from nasty redness in the eyes, the first thing you have to do is looking at the animal's eye to see if there's a sneaky foreign body in there, but also you have to look if the eye has other changes such as the presence of a bluish or whitish spot right on the cornea that could be caused by a corneal ulcer.

What Causes Red Eyes in Dogs - Step 1

If your pet has red eyes, the important thing is to find the causes of this disturbing nuisance. There may be many factors:

  • Disorders of the lacrimal glands
  • Corneal injury by the presence of eyelashes or other foreign bodies
  • Problems in the conjunctiva glands
  • Immune inflammations (conjunctivitis)
  • Inflammation of blood vessels (epiescleritis)
  • inflammatory process inside the eye (uveitis)
  • Eye Cancer (neoplasia)

These are just some of the causes that cause redness but for a correct diagnosis, you will have to go to the vet to study and assess your particular case.

What Causes Red Eyes in Dogs - Step 2

There is also a typical disease in certain breeds like Cockers known by the name of "cherry eye" that causes red eyes in dogs. The red is seen in the nearest angle to the nose, or even both eyes in the dog. The lacrimal gland of the third eyelid becomes inflamed and out of its usual place being exposed to the outside world. The only solution to this problem is surgical intervention, and then the naughty gland is re-positioned in its normal place to prevent any other complications.

What Causes Red Eyes in Dogs - Step 3

Whatever the alteration that causes red eyes, only a specialist can give the proper diagnosis because they are the ones who have to do a complete eye exam and also to study the animal's general health status since there?s ailments that can cause eye symptoms as is the case of leishmaniasis.

So if your dog has red eyes, get to work to find the source and, above all, the solution to this problem before the vision will be impaired or quite simply lost. Whatever happens, never medicate on your own with any eye drops, expect your vet to advise you. It is also essential that you follow a daily hygiene guidelines that will help improve the life of the animal.

If you want to read similar articles to What Causes Red Eyes in Dogs, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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What Causes Red Eyes in Dogs