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My dog Bandit is a 10 year old healthy maltese. Yesterday he…

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Hi My dog Bandit is...
Hi My dog Bandit is a 10 year old healthy maltese. Yesterday he started getting a yellowish green discharge from his eyes and vomiting. Today he has not yet vomitted so far but the eye discharge is worse. He is calmer than usual and his nose is really dry and has never been like that before. Also if possible i prefer not to use products meant for humans on him.
Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 43 minutes by:
1/9/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,984
Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic
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Hi, I am Dr. Denney. I am currently reviewing your post now. Please give me a few minutes to type my response. Thank you for trusting us with your question. This service is used for general information only and is no substitute for a veterinarian-patient relationship by examination.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Is Bandit eating today or is he refusing food?

It also sounds like on top of the stomach issues he also has a condition called conjunctivitis, infection of the eye. It is very similar to pink eye in humans ( not contagious to us or other dogs).

Other causes for the eye discharge you are describing is if he has gotten a corneal ulcer or scratch that is not infected.

Watery ocular (eye) discharge is a common concern of pet owners. Excessive tears drain down the pet’s face and, in time, the chronic exposure to moisture produces skin irritation, infection, and odor. The fur becomes stained reddish brown due to tear pigments called porphyrins, an especially non-cosmetic problem in white-furred pets. The medical term for this condition is epiphora and it is one of the most difficult conditions to resolve in all of veterinary ophthalmology. We can also see the tearing turn colors (green or yellow indicating infection)

There are two causes of epiphora (excess tearing) in pets:
irritation to the eye and abnormal tear drainage.

Irritation to the Eye

One of the eye’s natural responses to irritation is to produce more tears. This helps flush away any irritants that might have contaminated the eye surface. If excessive tearing is accompanied by squinting or pawing of the eye, or if the excessive tearing should occur suddenly, this should be taken as an obvious sign of eye pain and veterinary attention should be sought at once. Any accompanying loss of vision is also an emergency.

It is the more chronic cases that are harder to manage. Eyes can certainly become chronically irritated from viral conjunctivitis (probably the most common reason for excessive tearing in cats), from glaucoma (painful increase in eye pressure in the eye), from reaction to certain eye medications, or more commonly from eyelash or eyelid abnormalities.

Some breeds of dogs naturally have hair in their eyes and this does not cause irritation in most cases, but in some cases it can. Hairs can grow from the face at an angle so that they rub against the eye. Eyelashes can also grow at abnormal angles and rub on the eye. Eyelashes can even grow on the inner surface of the eyelids or corner of the eye and cause irritation. Often magnifying instruments are needed to discover these tiny hairs and delicate surgical procedures are needed to address them. Complicating the situation, however, is the fact that breeds that tend to have eyelid and eyelash problems also tend to be the same as those with faulty tear drainage anatomy (see below), which makes it hard to determine which of many possible causes is to blame.

Allergy, irritating dust or smog in the air, trauma, or infection can lead to excessive tears from conjunctivitis. These problems are treated medically.

  • Corneal ulcer
  • Inhalant allergy
  • Brachycephalic breeds
  • Dry eye


Normal Tear Drainage

Once we are certain that there is no painful condition, we consider that the eye's drainage ducts may not be normal. The normal eye is most efficient at draining tears. Looking at the inner corner of the eyelids (the side nearest the nose) one can see the pink, moist caruncle and on the eyelid margins upper and lower openings called nasolacrimal punctae. These are essentially drainage holes for tears. The punctae are the openings to small passages called canaliculi, which in turn open into the lacrimal sac. The lacrimal sac drains into the nasolacrimal duct, which drains tears into the nasal passages and throat. (This is why we get runny noses when we cry, when we sniffle, when we cry, and why we can taste our tears when we cry.)

There are many problems that can occur along this drainage route. One common problem, especially in poodles, bichon frises, and brachycephalic breeds, is simply that the eye socket is shallow. This means that tears overflow from the corner of the eye because the eyelid space there is not deep enough to contain them. These tears never make it to the punctae and instead spill down the sides of the nose. This condition cannot be repaired; it is simply the conformation of the dog’s face.

Alternatively, the eyelids may be turned inward (a condition called entropion) blocking the puncta and preventing drainage. Another problem may be long hair acting as a wick drawing tears from the eye to the skin, especially in breeds where hairs grow on the caruncle. This hair may be kept trimmed; though, if the hair is part of the nasal skin fold of a brachycephalic breed, surgery may be needed to remove or alter the skin fold.

Old infections or injuries may scar closed the puncta, canaliculi, or nasolacrimal ducts. Sometimes a vigorous flushing of saline through the ducts, performed under general anesthesia, can re-open them. Sometimes the puncta are congenitally closed (common in poodles and cocker spaniels) and can be surgically re-opened.

It is fairly easy to determine if there is a problem with drainage in a non-invasive way that is sometimes called the Jones test. A stain for eyes called fluorescein is dropped onto the eye and if the tear drainage system is intact the dye should be evident at the nostrils after a couple of minutes.

Surgery for this is a procedure that not all veterinarians are comfortable performing. Discuss with your veterinarian whether referral to a specialist would be best for you and your pet. In this case, special equipment is needed. Ask your veterinarian for a referral if needed.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

His eye issue will need to be addressed by your regular veterinarian because we need his eye stained to check for a scratch or ulcer and to check his tear production. Then depending on the results of those tests, he may need antibiotic eye drops.

The dry nose can be an indication of dehydration so we can try and address that by diluting chicken broth (low sodium) and water and warming it up so it smells yummy ( 1 cup broth to 1/2 cup water) offered multiple times a day.

If Bandit is refusing food and treats then this will also need to be addressed with your regards ***** ***** they can figure out if this is just a self-limiting stomach upset or if he needs medications to help him get over it.

We use antacids in dogs as well as humans ( the same drug found over the counter for humans). I know you said you prefer veterinarian labeled products, but we do use famotidine ( Pepsid) in dogs as well. I can get you a dose to try and see if this helps his stomach issues.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
He has been seen for the constant eye watering before my vet has told us a while ago that it is also common in maltese to have constant watering eye that caus stains due to the eye eye ducts not connecting to the nasal passage which he he’s always had along with our other maltese but he has recently is continues as normal but now he has this yellowish discharge and i want to catch it before its worse my parents maltese had it a while ago and was really bad but it took forever being to heal. He is also an ESA dog so it is crusial it is caught sooner. He drinks alot but i continue to give him water so hes fine after and his appetite has not seemed have changed he loves food
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