The eyes of dogs are very similar in structure to humans, so their appearance should also be similar. The surrounding tissues and eyelids around the eyes should be clean, dry, not swollen or red. The eyeball should be white, with barely noticeable blood vessels. The front of the eyeball should have a clear, shiny surface. The pupils of both eyes must be of equal size, black in color. The pupils of dogs are round. However, sometimes occurs when the dog’s eyes appear red. Does that mean the dog is tired? If you notice that your Australian Shepherd eyes are red, it is worth reading what the symptoms might be!
What Causes an Australian Shepherd Red Eyes?
The eye is perhaps the most important and sensitive organ. Various disorders in pets usually present symptoms that are too inconspicuous. Most of the symptoms of eye diseases in Australian Shepherds or any other dog are very similar – increased tearing of the eyes, purulent discharge from the eyes, swelling of the eyelids, pain, discomfort and redness.
Australian Shepherd’s Red Eyes. What Are the Symptoms?
If your Australian Shepherd has red eyes, this is usually a sign of an eye disease. In this case, it is important to consult a veterinarian who can properly assess the eye tissue and determine the cause of the disorder.
Here are possible symptoms for you to check for:
- Are both or only one eye affected?
- Are there any other symptoms? Such as eye discharge (watery, yellowish, greenish), severe pinching or itching?
- Is the vision impaired?
- Does the color of the eye itself continue to change (cornea or lens turns blue or gray)?
Australian Shepherd Red Eyes: Possible Diseases
Like a human, a dog‘s eye is made up of various structures such as the retina, lens, iris, and cornea. Dog‘s eye diseases can be divided into primary and secondary diseases.
- Primary diseases are those who arise naturally from the eye;
- Secondary eye diseases are caused by metabolic diseases or nerve damage.
The most common problems faced by pet owners are various inflammations of the eyelids, which can be allergic, infectious, or traumatic origin. This is called conjuctivitis.
You will recognize it from teary and reddened eyes, swelling and itching, frequent blinking. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian. Conjunctivitis is most commonly caused by an allergy to pollen and mold. It can also start with a bacterial infection. Bacterial infection is caused by thick yellow or green discharge from the eyes.
Inflammation can also be caused by damage to the cornea if foreign bodies come into contact with the eye. Foreign bodies could be stalk of grass, dust and so on. Frequent bathing of the dog and the means used can also irritate the lining of the eyelid.
You have probably seen a dog protruding his head through the window of a moving car more than once, and maybe even let your Australian Shepherd do it. However, this may result in a visit to an ophthalmologist and treatment of conjunctivitis. Strong winds can spray dirt, foreign bodies on the eyes, which will irritate the eye and cause inflammation. So it is best not to let your puppy do that.
If you notice the symptoms in time, you can cure the inflammation with simple eye drops or even artificial tears. Delays will require more serious treatment. Another disease that cannot be diagnosed without special equipment is glaucoma.
It is an insidious disease that is usually noticed too late. Glaucoma is an increase in the pressure in the dog‘s eye. You will not see an increase in your dog‘s intraocular pressure at first. The eyes are neither red, nor teary, nor sore. Only as the disease progresses do the first symptoms appear. The glaucoma affected eye becomes enlarged, its color may change, and the animal becomes apathetic.
Glaucoma can be stopped and sometimes cured if you notice it on time. It is determined only during the test by measuring the intraocular pressure with a special apparatus. However, if the disease has already lost some or all of the vision, it will not be restored. The best way to prevent glaucoma is to have your Aussie checked regularly.
There are two types of cataracts:
Congenital cataracts are a genetically inherited disease. Acquired cataracts can be caused by untreated inflammation caused by trauma, as well as diabetes or simply old age. You will recognize a cataract from a clouded eye lens, a change in eye color to a milky white or bluish gray.
Nowadays cataracts are curable even for dogs – the lens can be replaced. Even without replacing the lens and only removing the damaged one, part of the vision can be restored.
How to Keep Your Australian Shepherd’s Eyes Healthy
If your Australian Shepherd’s eyes are sticky, red or swollen – something might be wrong and eye health is at risk. Here are 3 tips to keep your dog’s eyes clear and healthy:
1. Keep The Eyes Clean
Dog’s eyes produce a watery and slightly slimy discharge, which is perfectly normal. However, unlike humans, dog eyes are surrounded by hair where secretions can accumulate. Dirt and pollution can then enter it. Therefore, regular eye care is a basic requirement to maintain eye health. Long-haired dogs like Australian Shepherds and those with chronic eye diseases should be professionally treated daily to remove accumulated secretions and prevent infections.
2. Do Not Ignore the Signs of Illness or Injury
Signs that there is an eye problem can include excessive rubbing, redness or swelling. This should be taken seriously because it can progress rapidly without treatment. A veterinarian should therefore be consulted if the following symptoms occur:
- Redness or bloodshot dog eyes
- Yellowish or greenish discharge from the eye
- Dilated pupils or different pupil sizes
- Any kind of eye changes
3. Feed Food that Keeps the Dog’s Eyes Healthy
When choosing food for a dog, pay attention to ingredients that maintain the dog’s eye health. Here are some examples:
- Blueberries: contain two important carotenoids that are healthy for the eyes – lutein and zeaxanthin. Also nutrients that support night vision, prevent macular degeneration and also reduce eye fatigue.
- Carrots – contain pro-vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamins B, C, D, E and K and other important vitamins.
- Fish are high in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), two of the three omega-3 fatty acids important for cellular health in the eyes. Here is more info about fish oil benefits for dog.
- Eggs – egg yolks contain lutein which minimizes the risk of macular degeneration.
- Pumpkin is packed with carotenoids, which help neutralize free radicals.
The eyes are one of the most important organs in both humans and dogs and must be carefully protected. Red eyes are like an indicator that something is wrong. So it is best to take immediate action, and always consult your veterinarian if you are unsure.