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Dr. Emily
Dr. Emily, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 945
Experience:  Associate veterinarian at a small animal clinic
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My dog has reddish discharge coming from his eyes and mouth.

Customer Question

My dog has reddish brown discharge coming from his eyes and mouth.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Tatonka, he will be 13 in November.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your dog?
Customer: We were told in April he could have Cushions disease. He has lost a good 15 pounds since March. The discharge from his mouth seems to be only on the right side because it runs off on his right paw. He is constantly dry heaving, and has been begging to go outside and eat grass. Also, he didn't move his bowels for 3 weeks. The vet was giving him acupuncture. Didn't seem to be too concerned with this and he finally started passing stool this past week.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 months ago.

My name is***** and I would like to assist with your concern. Do you have a photo of the what this looks like?

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 months ago.

The most common cause of the brownish discharge is an increase in normal eye secretions and drooling. The reason we see the color is because normally the saliva and tears have a pigment to them, but we do not see this because it is swallowed or drains out of the tear ducts from the eyes to the nose. When we have over production of saliva and tears, they spill over -- so for the eye we see it at the inner corners running down the side of the nose and from the mouth we see this around the lips/muzzle. The pigment is normal. The fact that there is more is what needs to be looked at more closely.

Cushing's disease is something I am very familiar with. In addition to weight loss, we also see a few characteristic signs which are: increased drinking, increased urination, increased appetite (although in advanced stages the appetite can decrease as well), changes in skin (color, flakey, dry, hairloss) and a pot-belly appearance. Does your dog have any of these signs as well?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I noticed last night that his stomach looked bloated. As for the other symptoms he doesn't have any of those and hasn't had any of them. The diagnosis was vague.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 months ago.

Unfortunately I cannot give a specific diagnosis without an exam. This site is for information purposes. Without any of the other signs, Cushing's disease is unlikely. If you are able to attach a photo of what you are seeing, that would be helpful.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm not looking for a diagnosis for cushins. I just want to know what's coming out of my dogs mouth and eye
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 months ago.

Yes, I am sorry for the confusion. As a diagnosis of the discharge from his mouth and eyes, it is difficult to diagnose without a physical exam. Thank you for submitting the photos though. That helps tremendously. Based on these photos, what I discussed earlier does hold to be true. This discharge is the normal saliva and tear staining with the pigment "porphyrin" being more noticeable.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 months ago.

The difficult part is trying to figure out why there is more secretions than normal. I can see in the photo there is also lick staining present on the feet. This is that same pigment from saliva - porphyrin

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 months ago.

This is not an uncommon occurrence in bulldog but since there has been a change with him from not seeing this to suddenly seeing it -- that is the main concern. Was this going on while he had his previous illness of not defecating? Being nauseous will cause excess salivation and would lead to more of the discharge being noticed.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No this is only a recent thing. I'm not so worried about his eye. I figured that would be normal. The marks on his feet are only from him laying on his paw. He is not a licker. The brown saliva is only on the right side. I just wanted to find out if it could be a tooth infection and if I should bring him back to the vet to see if he needs it removed or if brushing will make t better.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 months ago.

An infection in the mouth can increase saliva production, yes. The discharge itself would not be from the infected tooth or gums though. Infected teeth are often painful so we would typically see a change in appetite or the ability to chew normal on one side of the mouth. Once tartar has hardened on the teeth and formed calculus, brushing will no longer help. The calculus needs to be scaled off while the pet is under anesthesia. The most common teeth to break or get infected are the larger chewing teeth on the top and bottom, towards the back.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 months ago.

For example, if the teeth look like this, then it is not infected but would benefit from having a dental cleaning done

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 months ago.

However, this tooth is infected and would need to be removed.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I will bring him to the vet. Thanks.