It’s heartbreaking waking up to your favorite Labrador Retriever’s red eyes, unlike their bright eyes. So, can a Labrador Retriever have red eyes?
Why does my Labrador have red eyes?
Your Labrador Retriever can have red eyes due to injury, or allergies, in case a foreign object gets into their eyes. Also, it can result from eye conditions like glaucoma, dry eye, and conjunctivitis. You can treat some of these problems at home or consult a veterinarian.
We consulted experienced veterinarians, top dog keepers, and comprehensive research from different publications for why your dog has red eyes. Also you will find possible home remedies to soothe and treat them.
Is It Normal for Labradors to Have Red Eyes?
Sometimes it’s normal for your dog to have red eyes. Most of the time, it indicates an underlying health problem, allergies, or injuries. The red eyes may disappear, but sometimes you must visit a specialist.
Reasons Why Your Dog’s Eyes Are Red
Vision problem is one of the common diseases in Labrador Retrievers. Your dog’s eyes may be red due to various reasons.
The cornea is the clear part of the eye above the front of the eye. Unluckily, if your dog gets a foreign object in their eye and scratches the cornea, it can lead to a bacterial infection attack.
As the bacteria grows it dissolves the cornea and can be very painful. If this is the issue, you will notice your dog has;
- Mucky discharge
- Excessive squinting
- Scratching of the eye
You need to see a vet for treatment if this is the issue. For best results, it’s advisable to do it within 24to 48hours.
Eye trauma may happen when your dog bangs their eyes while playing or chasing. Its characteristics include;
- Reddening of the eyelids and swelling if the knock was heavy
- Tissues around the eye reddening
- Eye squinting a short time after the knock. Suppose the squinting persists after 30 minutes; it’s good to visit a vet.
- Sometimes, the issue might not be severe if the cornea isn’t involved and gets normal within 12 to 24 hours.
Your dog’s eye reddening and swelling can result from chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, smoke, and artificial fragrances. It can also happen if your dog swims in a chlorine pool or the sea.
If you are out and about, your dog’s eyes reddening may also be due to crop spraying drift, cigarette smoke, smog, and other contaminants. Good thing; this will only affect your dog for a short time and get back to normal once you move from the irritants.
Your dog may have hay fever-like symptoms if she is allergic to pollen. You may notice;
- Eye redness
- Excess face rubbing
- Sometimes scratching
Also, your dog’s conjunctiva and the white part of the eye can be irritated, swollen, or appear red. The condition may be severe for dogs with inhalation allergies and the hair around their eyes falling.
Sometimes it’s difficult to treat allergies, so you must find a qualified vet to help you with your dog.
Uveitis and Eye Infection
In case of uveitis, your dog’s whole eye will swell, though it’s not common. This eye infection is a result of a systemic disease or illness.
The condition is harrowing for your dog, especially when exposed to bright light. These infections may result from viral, bacterial, parasitic, fungal, and metabolic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.
You will need veterinary help to treat your dog since you may not know the cause of the eye infection. Your vet will help you determine the cause of the condition and help you develop a treatment plan for them.
Glaucoma is a severe eye condition resulting from increased eyeball pressure and damage to the normal drainage of eye fluids. Due to hereditary anatomical abnormalities, several dog breeds are prone to the primary condition stage.
Few dogs suffer from secondary glaucoma due to lens dislocation, uveitis, intraocular bleeding, eye lens damage, or tumors.
Glaucoma may affect a single or both eyes. The blood vessels on the white part of the eye often become visible and swollen. Also, the affected eyeball may be larger than expected and very painful.
You may also notice your dog squinting, redness, tearing, unequally sized eye pupil, and eye loss.
Glaucoma is a severe condition that leads to blindness quickly in acute cases. So, it would help to see a vet. Specifically, a homeopathic vet will help with a gentle and non-invasive treatment for the condition.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome occurs when your dog’s tear glands are not secreting enough tears. With this, the eye tissues become very dry and uncomfortable.
If you see the following characteristics, your dog must suffer from dry eye syndrome.
- Itching and painful eyes
- Red eyes
- Thick eye discharge
The eyes’ dryness may result from an underlying condition or trauma. Although it can be clear on its own, it’s good to visit a veterinarian for diagnosis and prescription in case of any underlying conditions.
Dog Red Eyes Home Remedy
Your Labrador Retriever can have red eyes due to an infection or a minor eye irritation. Most of the time, it’s not something you need to worry about. You can use home eye remedies to treat your dog. But it may help to seek a vet evaluation before your home treatment.
1. Saline Solution
Keeping the area clean is good if you notice any issues with your dog’s eyes. You can also trim long hair around their eyes to avoid scratching the eyeball.
You could also wash the eye area with warm saline water several times daily. Mix a ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ cup of water to make a saline solution.
Use a clean, soft cloth to wash the dog’s eyes, beginning from the corner towards the ear area. After cleaning, throw the water away, and don’t use it for the next wipe, as it could worsen the situation.
Also, you can use the saline solution as a flush; use a sterile eye dropper or a new cotton ball to drop the saline water into your dog’s eyes.
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is one of the most accessible home-eye remedies. Since you will get it at any grocery shop on a budget. To treat the eye;
Deep the tea bag in hot water and allow it to cool. Then hold the tea bag on your dog’s eye for about 5 minutes. You can use the cooled tea to flush your dog’s eyes.
Repeat the procedure three to five times daily until the eye infection clears.
3. Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil can help soothe your dog’s eyes associated with irritation and red eyes. Apply one drop of cod liver oil on each eye every day. This oil helps to lubricate the eye and reduce inflammation.
This oil also has high levels of vitamin A, which is good for corneal healing and helps the eye surface to be bacteria-resistant.
In addition, you can get eye drops with vitamin A over the counter but ensure you consult with your vet before using.
4. Cold Compress
A cold compress is a good treat if your dog’s eyes have inflammation. Use a wet washcloth dipped in water to compress the dog’s eyes when closed.
But note that cold press will not treat the underlying cause of the itchy eyes but only reduce inflammation and itchiness to make your dog comfortable.
5. Artificial Tears
Unlike saline eye drops, artificial tears have lubricants and are safe for use. You can use them to lubricate their eyes if they are dry and irritated.
Apply a few drops three to five times a day. Also, you need to note that artificial tears don’t contain medication but can relieve irritation.
- Labrador Retrievers can have red eyes in case of an infection, irritation, foreign object, or allergies.
- Red eyes are not typical but indicate a problem
- Your dog’s red eyes may result from cornea ulceration, eye trauma, environmental irritants, allergies, glaucoma, and dry eye syndrome
- Sometimes the red eyes may disappear on their own, while you must visit a vet other times
- You can help relieve or clear red eyes with home remedies like a saline solution, chamomile tea, cod liver oil, cold compress, and artificial tears.