Eye problems

My Dog Has Green and Yellow Eye Boogers

Yourvetplanet (Pablo M.S)
By Yourvetplanet (Pablo M.S). November 30, 2023
My Dog Has Green and Yellow Eye Boogers

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When you see eye discharge from a dog, it often appears as green gunk or eye boogers which is known scientifically as rheum. It is a very common condition, especially in certain dog breeds. It often occurs after sleep and is not necessarily related to any specific disease. When it is a problem which does occur due to a pathological cause, it can be something which affects the eye directly. It is also possible that the dog has a more systemic problem which has eye discharge in dogs as a symptom. Looking at the color and texture of the ocular discharge can help us determine this cause.

For this reason, AnimalWised looks at why my dog has green and yellow eye boogers. We discover the causes and treatment of different types of eye discharge which can affect your animal.

You may also be interested in: My Dog Has Green Eye Discharge
  1. What are eye boogers in dogs?
  2. Related symptoms of eye boogers in dogs
  3. Types of eye boogers in dogs
  4. Causes of green and yellow eye boogers in dogs
  5. Treatment of eye boogers in dogs
  6. Home remedies for eye boogers in dogs

What are eye boogers in dogs?

The secretion from a dog's eye is invariably referred to as ‘eye boogers’, ‘eye gunk’ or something similar in dogs. It contains rheum, a thin mucous which is naturally discharged from the eyes, but is also present in the nose and mouth. The eye booger is often most noticeable due to the accumulation of this mucus and dead epithelial cells in the ocular area.

Normal eye discharge is produced by the meibomian glands and its main function is to lubricate and protect the eye from external factors. In addition, they help drag particles of waste or dirt from the eye to be eliminated more easily. In this way, rheum is a natural mechanism of the body to clean and protect the eyes. During the dog's sleep, they blink less and tear production decreases, allowing these secretions to accumulate. This is why we often see eye boogers when a dog wakes from sleep.

Under normal circumstances, the presence of rheum in dogs is usually not a cause for concern. However, if the amount of eye boogers is excessive, has an abnormal color or is accompanied by redness, inflammation or excessive discharge in the eyes, it could be indicative of an eye problem. This symptom requires evaluation by a veterinarian to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

The coloration of the eye discharge is particularly important. If we see the dog has greenish or yellowish eye boogers, it can imply there is a sign of infection. However, it is important to know that normal rheum can have a similar coloration due to the presence of epithelial cells and dirt around the dog's eye.

Not all eye problems cause discharge such as eye boogers. Learn about the most common eye problems in dogs with our related guide.

Related symptoms of eye boogers in dogs

Green and yellow discharge from a dog's eye often does not occur on its own. It will depend on the underlying problem, but we often see other symptoms such as the following:

  • Eye redness
  • Increased blinking
  • Reject places with a lot of light
  • Alteration of eye size
  • Alteration of eye shape
  • Rubbing eyes desperately with paw
  • Apathy
  • Discomfort and irritability

The eye itself can also change when there is a problem. This can be seen when the dog has dilated pupils, although this does not always mean there is a problem with the eye specifically.

My Dog Has Green and Yellow Eye Boogers - Related symptoms of eye boogers in dogs

Types of eye boogers in dogs

We have already said that green and eye boogers can imply there is an infection, although this is not always the case. For this reason, it is helpful to look at the different types of eye discharge in dogs:

  • Transparent fluid: this type of fluid discharge is usually normal in a dog, especially when they wake from a long sleep. If the amount begins to increase in quantity, it can be an early sign of inflammation or infection. We will usually see other symptoms develop if this is the case. While it won't cause a health problem, rheum buildup can cause tear stains in dogs which provide an aesthetic problem for some.

  • Green eye boogers: this type of eye discharge in dogs can cause concern in some circumstances, as they can be indicative of bacterial infections. We will also see redness of the eye and greater sensitivity. Pain and discomfort can lead the dog to try to scratch their eyes, something which can cause secondary bacterial infection itself.

  • Yellow eye boogers: while it is possible that the purulent discharge from an infection may be causing yellowish eye discharge, it is usually green in color. If it is yellow, it may be due to the oxidation of secretions from the tear ducts. This causes the clear fluid to turn yellowish and then brown. It can be seen more commonly on white dog breeds.

  • Thick eye boogers: we have already explained that normal rheum is clear and thin in consistency. If your dog's eye boogers are thick in consistency, it is usually due to the buildup of cells caused by an infection.

  • Dry eye boogers: when the eye booger is dry, it is often because it has been allowed to build up and dry out. This is one reason why we can often se the rheum after the dog has taken a long nap. Dryness or dustiness in the environment can also be a related factor.
My Dog Has Green and Yellow Eye Boogers - Types of eye boogers in dogs

Causes of green and yellow eye boogers in dogs

We have already seen some of the causes of different types of eye discharge, but the following are some of the most common causes in general:

  • Condition of the ocular epithelium: there are multiple external agents that can alter the normal functioning of the eye if they come into contact with it. The most common are dust, smoke, chemicals or foreign bodies such as ectopic hairs or spikes from plants. Allergens can also cause a reaction tat leads to discharge. All of this can contribute to starting an inflammatory process in the eye and an increase in secretions.

  • Infections: there are certain microorganisms that are capable of affecting the eyes, producing inflammation in response and leading to irreversible alterations of the eyeball in the worst case. Bacteria are the most common agents of causing eye infections, in addition to other agents such as parasites or viruses that can also cause pathologies at this level. Learn more about the most common eye infections in dogs.

  • Obstruction of the tear ducts: the eye has a system of ducts to eliminate ocular secretions, in the case of dogs this duct empties into the nasal cavity. If it is blocked, the secretions cannot be eliminated normally so they can accumulate excessively in the eye cavity.

  • Anatomical alterations: the ocular structure is very variable between breeds. Certain groups of dogs have a greater predisposition to discharge due to the anatomy of their ocular cavity. For example, many brachycephalic dog breeds have a skull shape which causes bulging in the eye and exposes them more to external factors. Skin folds in dogs like the Shar Pei can also increase the likelihood of eye disease.
  • Eye diseases: there are problems such as corneal erosions or ulcers, conjunctivitis or glaucoma that where an excess of rheum may appear accompanying the main disease.

  • Climate: there are certain meteorological factors such as extreme cold, strong winds or excessive dryness that can stimulate the secretion of rheum to protect the eye.

Treatment of eye boogers in dogs

The treatment for rheum in dogs must be prescribed by a veterinarian. We do not recommend self-medicating the dog or giving homemade eye drops at all, as it can aggravate the situation.

Antibiotics in eye drops are normally prescribed if signs of infection have been detected during the examination. Anti-inflammatories may also be given if the animal has a lot of discomfort in the area. The use of eye drops may also be important to help maintain the hygiene of the eye by washing away infected secretions.

There are circumstances such as tear duct obstructions, severe or persistent ulcers, glaucoma or other pathologies that may require surgical procedures for the definitive resolution of these diseases. In these cases, your veterinarian can refer you to a service specialized in veterinary ophthalmology. They will have the state-of-the-art techniques and equipment required to perform this type of surgery.

It may not be related to an infection, but you may see your dog has other symptoms which need treatment. Take a look at our article on why my dog's eye is twitching to learn more.

My Dog Has Green and Yellow Eye Boogers - Treatment of eye boogers in dogs

Home remedies for eye boogers in dogs

It must be remembered that the veterinarian is the only person who should direct the treatment of your dog when they have green, yellow, brown or any consistency of eye discharge. You should stay away from home remedies that claim they can cure these pathologies without using medication. The eyes are very sensitive structures and can be easily damaged, so putting anything in them you don't 100% trust is a mistake.

However, a series of actions can be carried out at home to support the main treatment or to prevent the reappearance of the disease in the future. If your dog has a lot of discharge on a regular basis, you can remove them with gauze and sterile physiological saline solution if your veterinarian has recommended it.

Learn more about this practical approach with our guide on how to clean a dog's eyes.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to My Dog Has Green and Yellow Eye Boogers, we recommend you visit our Eye problems category.

  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 8th Edition.
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My Dog Has Green and Yellow Eye Boogers