PetMeds: Managing Eye Discharge (Mucus) in Dogs and Cats

 
Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

One of the most common questions asked by animal guardians is why do they have to wipe away the crust or eye boogers from the corners of their pets’ eyes each morning.  While this symptom is quite common, most of the time it is not significant and does not require medical treatment. The most common cause is usually airborne allergens which can cause weepy eyes as in people.  Other times morning crusties can indicate a clogged tear duct but in this case the discharge is usually much thicker.

eye-discharge-dog

When asked about morning eye crust or mucous , I simply advise clients to wipe it away with a moist cloth or with some mild Visine eye drops. Most cases do not need veterinary attention and/or antibiotic therapy. However, if the crust or discharge becomes thicker,  or develops a green or yellow color or bad odor, or the eyes become red or light sensitive and/or the pet is bothering with his or her eyes, then in these cases a veterinary exam would be indicated for proper diagnosis and treatment.

For suggestions on pet products to address eye problems in your dog or cat, including eye discharge, read my previous blog post on Eye Discharge in Dogs.

Read Related Posts on PetMeds Blog:

  1. Causes of Cloudy Eyes in Pets
  2. PetMeds® Cloudy Eyes in Dogs
  3. PetMeds®: Eye Discharge in Dogs
  4. Excessive Tearing of the Eyes in Pets
  5. PetMeds® Addressing Eye Problems in Dogs and Cats

11 Comments

  1. Michelle blizzard
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I have a pek who we took to the vet a while ago and they said that he has something wrong with his eyes. I can’t remember what they called it and I am pretty sure that they gave me optimmune to put in his eyes every 12 hours. But he seems like he has more and more gunkie stuff that sometimes covers his whole eyes. They also said that it might make him go blind later on down the road and that he should have surgery to fix it. I believe that they said something about his eye lashes could be causing it but I am not sure. I can’t afford for him to have surgery but I don’t want to see him go blind either. Do you have any other suggestions that may help. If so, Please help me out. I love my dogs and treat them like that are my children and this really bothers me. Thank you and have a great day.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    This is one where I need diagnosis to help advise you. Plus your dog really needs recheck exam to assess eyes and decide on further treatment. You could try artificial tears afew times daily to keep eyes moist in case your pet has dry eye. However really should have recheck exam so meds can be adjusted.

    [Reply]

  2. Steven
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I have a golden doodle. He has been having a milky discharge from his eyes. I also noticed that when I pull down on his lower lid, there seams to be a black flap of skin under his iris. Is this normal

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Mayor may not be normal. Should have veterinary opthomologic exam to find out.

    [Reply]

  3. sheila
    Posted June 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    my shih tzu has been (she is 13 years old) has been diagnosed as not making enough tears, thus the constant eye boogers. i actually use my own Restasis in her eyes and that helps, but what has helped more than ever is that she has developed a terrible rash on her back side, and when i started shampooing her with an anti fungal/bacterial shampoo and then rinsing with a apple cider vinegar rinse, all her symptoms have cleared up almost completely over night. this is a dog that had chewed almost all of her hair on her tail off. just this week i did give her a steroid shot and am considering doing the ivomex just for a precaution. my point is, after all the money and expense, i swear, i think the apple cider vinegar has helped the most.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thanks for sharing. Apple cider vinegar can indeed help in many skin cases.

    [Reply]

  4. deena
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Last night I noticed that my chihuahua/ schipperke mix had a large film of mucous covering her entire left eye. No previous symptoms were seen. I wiped it out and thought it was gone. This morning I noticed some more that appeared to harden slightly and adhere to her eye, with a little more under her eye lid. I was able to get it out and noticed that she has been keeping the eye closed for the major part of the day. Any ideas what would cause such thick mucous? I am hoping she is keeping her eye closed asit was irritated from the mucous.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Best to have vet check of eye to make sure not infection, ulcer of cornea or a condition known as dry eye. That will help guide treatment.

    [Reply]

  5. deena
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I called the vet, but they cannot seeher until Friday. I am wondering if I should take her to the emergency vet room, instead of risking the wait until Friday, which would be almost a week since noticing the mucous. Shehad a clean bill of health two months ago. Also I have three other dogs and a cat, if this is an infection and contamination.

    [Reply]

  6. Ni
    Posted September 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Ok so my dog has a lot of eye boogies.She is 4 years of age and she is a blue nose pitbull.I would wipe her eyes in the middle of the day and then like in to minutes later it will come back.It varies in colors sometimes its clear then it is like a clear green but it doesnt smell.Its very slimy and im very worried because I dont want her to go blind.Any advice.If so thank you so much.Have a good day and thank you for reading.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    With any eye issues it is best to have an exam by a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

    [Reply]

  7. Jaden
    Posted December 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    My 5 year old pug has a lot of mucus like substance in his eye. And he can’t really open it. Eye looks a bit discolored. Should I just clean his eyes up?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Probably best to have vet exam and check to rule out eye infection.

    [Reply]

  8. Marleen
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    I have a 2 year old yorkie that has had eye problems of him wanting to scratch and ends up crying because be scratches his eyes, so we decided to Put on a cone, he has had the cone on for a little over a month because he insists on scratching and cries if we touch around his eyes, there would also-sometimes be excessive mucus coming out but cleaning it, it would go away they are a little swollen but then it goes away, we got saline for him and it seems to have helped. Today I woke up and his eye was shut and I tried to open it and he cried and went under the bed, when he came out it was open like normal though, but when he sleeps it closes up then he wakes up and it opens withing about 2 min. What can I do to stop the pain in his eyes or stop the scratching? I bought tear stain remover wipes today.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Best to have vet exam to make sure no scratches on cornea that may need topical antibiotics, etc. Sometimes dogs itch at their eyes because of chronic allergies. Topical and/or oral corticosteroids may be needed in case like this and can be prescribed by your vet. Antihistamines such as chlorphenirimine at dose of 2 mg twice daily may help.

    [Reply]

  9. Amber
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    My Persian cat has been having this goop from one eye only. He doesn’t appear to be in any kind of pain, and doesn’t mind at all when I clean him up. Appears to be colorless, except the crusted part, and has no odor. But there is a lot of it. Throughout the day, and only in that one eye. Could that still be a sign of allergies?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Yes Still could be allergies, but always best with eye symptoms to have complete vet exam and evaluation for proper diagnosis.

    [Reply]

  10. Eriks
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I have a Bernese Mountain Dog. Just a few weeks ago we took him to the vet to get his annual shots. Prior to his appointment, every once in a while he would get some eye boogies but very seldom. The first few mornings after his shots appointment He started getting a little bit of green puss come out the tear duct corner of his left eye, I didn’t notice any smell just the color. I figured he was only having a mild reaction to the shots and figured it would go away within a few days. Well the green puss went away but it turned into a ton of eye boogies and crust and now it is in both eyes. It has been exactly 2 weeks since his appointment and every morning I have to wipe away the crust and boogies from both of his eyes. Is this normal? Should I get him checked? Or could it just be allergies and only a coincidence that it started happening right after his appointment? We live in Germany and I know the allergens in this country are far worse than those in the states.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Hi Eriks. SO sad as I see this issue all of the time as a holistic oriented veterinarian who also has training in traditional vet medicine. This is DEFINITELY related to vaccination, which has been shown to worsen allergic responses to pollens, etc in dogs. Hopefully nothing else much going on, but I would strongly recommend seeing a vet skilled in veterinary homeopathy, to help with improving his health over long period of time. To learn more about homeopathy go to http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consults. Most traditional vets will just give you topical cortisone/antibiotic eye drops, but that suppression of the discharge may lead to other chronic health problems over time, in my opinion and experience as a holistic veterinarian.

    [Reply]

  11. Betty Silvaney
    Posted April 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I have a feral kitten with pus discharge in her eye and sneezes alot. Shes also not eating. What can I treat this with?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Best to have vet check ASAP to see if antibiotics are needed. In meantime try L lysine from 1800petmeds.

    [Reply]

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