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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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My dog has takes her paws and rubs her eyes. She also takes

Resolved Question:

My dog has takes her paws and rubs her eyes. She also takes her face and rubs it on the carpet. She has rubbed all the hair off around her eye. Her eyes also water and run alot, but they are not red!
Submitted: 6 years ago via lowchenaustralia.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer!

I'm so sorry you have had such a long wait to get a response. I just logged on and saw your question and have replied right away.

I would like to help you and your dog but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

Is the discharge from her eyes watery or is it mucoid?

Is she holding her eyes fully open, or does she squint on them?

When did this start?

Does she play in sand or dusty areas, or swim in ponds/lakes?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The color is clear, it started during the summer after she got a bee sting on her nose that took forever to heal because she continually scratched at it. Yes, she does play in dusty areas. She runs laps underneath our trampoline that sits on very fine rock. She has actually made a path in the rocks all the way down to the dirt.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

A-HA!! That has been very helpful!

What you are describing in your dog sounds like it might be conjunctivitis, which means an inflammation of the conjunctiva (mucous membranes in the lower and upper eyelids).

Conjunctivitis in a dog is generally allergic (to pollens, dust, etc) or bacterial (from swimming in dirty pond water), viral or due to parasites.

In a dog of this age allergic conjuncitivitis is most likely.

Dogs are notoriously curious creatures and like to put their faces into dusty corners, under bushes and in the sand. All of that dust, pollen and sand can get trapped under the eyelid and cause irritation. At this time of year, ragweed is a big allergen in many states, and perhaps it is where you are, too? I see lots of dogs coming in every day with allergic conjunctivitis in Fall in Ontario, Canada!

Often, this needs some prescription medication containing anti-inflammatories to treat it.

However, you could try a couple of things at home first if you would like to see if you can help her before considering a vet.

1. Try to limit her play in the dusty areas.

2. If she does play under the trampoline, rinse her eyes out afterwards.

What I would suggest is that you go to the contact lens section of your local drugstore/pharmacy and look for sterile ophthalmic saline solution (eyewash). There should be nothing else in it except sterile saline!

Ask the pharmacist if you are not sure.

After your girl plays in the dust, rinse her eyes by having her sit with her bum in a corner, and you standing over her with your back in the corner, and her head between your knees.

Hold her with your legs, and tilt her head so her nose points to the ceiling. Now, squirt the sterile saline into the lower lids to really flush them! You need to use 1-2 tablespoons of solution per eye to do this. A towel under you both is helpful.

3. Wipe her eyes gently with a soft facecloth dipped in warm water to remove any dust around them after she plays outside.

Thus, less will end up in her eyes!

4. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can be helpful if this is due to allergies. Many times, people really under-dose dogs with this medication as they take much higher doses than humans. I'm not sure if this is what you have tried?


The dose that one generally gives is 1mg/lb. Is she about 30lbs? It comes as 25 mg tablets, and if she is 30lbs, her dose would be ONE TABLET. This can be repeated every 8 hours for 24-36h. You would need to give the full dose every 8 hours for 2 days to really see much improvement. It might make her sleepy.

Here is more about Benadryl:

5. If she continues to rub at her eyes or hold them closed, or has green mucoid discharge from them, then seek immediate veterinary care.

Here is more information about conjunctivitis:

I hope that this helps!

If this has been helpful, please accept my answer and leave feedback.

If you have more questions, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If this works, should I discontinue the benadryl after the 36 hours or continue giving it to her. I take allergy medicine everyday....wasn't sure?
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.
Benadryl is very safe, and dogs can stay on it long term. You might be able to drop from 3 times daily to twice daily for a day or two, and then down to once daily and see if that works!

Hope she feels better soon!
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