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LennyDVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 548
Experience:  30 years as owner of a mobile practice treating dogs, cats, horses and other pets.
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Very red eyes with heavy discharge of mucus

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Very red eyes with heavy discharge of mucus
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Age: >12; Female; Breed: Bijon Friese

Already Tried:
Nothing yet. We wanted to see if it would clear up on its own. But its been a week now and is not improving. Probably would have done something sooner but it doesn't seem to bother her.

The most common causes of red eyes and discharge in older dogs include:

  • Conjunctivitis - common causes include allergies and infections
  • Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) - caused by lack of tears
  • Glaucoma - pupils are enlarged (eye looks very dark) and cloudy.

The treatment depends on the specific cause and can include eye drops or ointment for simple conjunctivitis, artificial tears or drugs that stimulate tear production for dry eye and drugs to reduce the pressure in the eye for glaucoma.


Diagnosing the specific cause requires an examination and diagnostic tests. Tests can include staining the cornea to see if there are ulcers, checking the pressure in the eye with a tonometer. This is the same instrument used to test humans for glaucoma.


It would be good to get your girl to the vet as soon as possible. Since the problem has been evident for a week, waiting until normal hours on Monday is reasonable.


Let me know if you have follow up questions.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
more info: Sally has had cloudy eyes for some time now that has reduced her vision by about 80% from my best guess. Two weeks ago we removed a tick from her eye lid and after further reading have determined that this may be responsible for the infection. However, symtoms did not show for a week, we noticed last Saturday. She has also been on Clavamox, just finished a few days ago. We have two Bijon's and the vet put them both on it for skin alergies but Sally really didn't need it. Maggie was the one chewing herself up. It happens every year this time of year. The last vet bill was way more than we were expecting and now another would not be great timing. I found Eye Easy for dog Conjunctivitis. Are you familiar with this product? Would it be a reasonable first try treatment to avoid another trip to the vet? Thanks in advance, RJ

I found Eye East on the web. It contains goldenseal, rosemary, eye bright and chamomile. The website I checked did not indicate what liquid is used. Most eye drops use sterile normal saline. The product should be safe and will help lubricate the eye. It is a reasonable first try at treatment.


I do not know if Eye Easy is more effective than liquid tears or saline eye drops, which are probably less expensive. A plain eye ointment, which should be available over the counter, would leave a film for longer than eye drops and might help sooth for longer. Using drops every few hours during the day and an ointment at night would help ease the irritation of simple conjunctivitis and dry eye.


Cloudy eyes can be caused by cataracts. Cloudy eyes can also be caused by changes in the refractivity of the eye result in reflected light giving a hazy look to the eye. Both are common in older dogs.


Ticks on the eyelids don't usually cause red eye although a tick transmitted infection might. Most of the tick borne diseases (Lyme, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, etc.) have other signs and symptoms.


I hope at home treatment works. I understand the concern about additional trips and costs of veterinary care.




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