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5 Most Common Types of Dog Eye Injuries: How to Spot, Diagnose, and Treat

Active dogs often encounter eye injuries due to their exploratory nature. Since eye injuries can be serious, it's crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. Here’s what you need to know about common dog eye injuries, their symptoms, and treatment.

What Are Dog Eye Injuries?

Dogs often get eye injuries while exploring because they lead with their faces. These injuries range from minor scratches to severe damage. Younger, more active dogs are more prone to these injuries, while older dogs typically suffer from eye issues related to disease.

Key Points:

  • Eye injuries can vary in severity and appearance.

  • Dogs tend to paw at injured eyes, which can worsen the injury.

  • Prompt veterinary attention is essential to prevent complications like vision loss.

Types of Dog Eye Injuries

  1. Corneal Ulceration

  • Cause: Impact with debris, chemical exposure, or scratching.

  • Symptoms: Redness, squinting, and discharge.

  1. Puncture Wounds

  • Cause: Sharp objects like thorns or sticks.

  • Symptoms: Visible puncture, bleeding, and swelling.

  1. Corneal Lacerations

  • Cause: Scratches from sharp objects or animal fights.

  • Symptoms: Redness, squinting, and tearing.

  1. Eyelid Trauma

  • Cause: External trauma from branches or fights.

  • Symptoms: Cuts, tears, bleeding, redness, and swelling.

  1. Proptosis

  • Cause: Severe impact causing the eye to bulge from its socket.

  • Symptoms: Protruding eye and severe pain.

Symptoms of Dog Eye Injuries

Common signs of eye injuries in dogs include:

  • Squinting or holding the eye closed

  • Watery, irritated eyes

  • Red or bloodshot eyes

  • Pawing at the eyes or face

  • Cloudy eyes in bright light

  • Inability to open or close the eye normally

  • Bulging eyes

  • Excessive discharge, often green mucus

Diagnosing Dog Eye Injuries

If you suspect an eye injury, use a recovery cone to prevent further damage until you can see a vet. Your vet will ask about the injury and your dog's medical history. They will conduct a physical exam and may perform the following tests:

  • Schirmer Tear Test: Measures tear production to check for conditions like dry eye.

  • Fluorescein Stain Test: Highlights injuries to the cornea.


Immediate veterinary care is crucial for eye injuries. Treatment may include:

  • Medications: Antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Surgery: For severe injuries like proptosis.

  • Protective Measures: Using a recovery cone to prevent further damage.


  • Regular Check-ups: Regular vet visits to catch early signs of eye issues.

  • Safe Environment: Keep your dog's environment free of sharp objects and hazards.

  • Proper Gear: Use protective gear like dog goggles during outdoor activities.

For more detailed advice and guidance, visit

By being vigilant and proactive, you can help ensure your dog’s eyes remain healthy and injury-free.

Dog Eye Injuries Chart
Dog Eye Injuries Chart


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