The large, bulging eyes in the brachycephalic breeds look adorable but it makes them susceptible to injury.
Eye injuries, inflammation and even loss of an eye are, unfortunately, common in Pugs and other smooshy-faced breeds. Not only the eyes are too large for the eye sockets, but the eyelids also might not be able to fully cover the eye when closed.
Bruce is a 1-year-old, active and excitable dog. He loves to play, dash back and forth and chase anything that moves. During one of his play-times, he suddenly yelped and stopped what he was doing.
Apparently he ran into a branch and injured his eye. At first, it looked like not a big deal because he soon resumed play and seemed fine.
Two days later
Two days later, however, Bruce started fussing with his left eye, pawing at it, whining and yelping. His eye was swollen, squinted and leaking yellow discharge. That is what landed Bruce at a veterinary clinic.
At the veterinarian
Bruce didn’t want to let the veterinarian get anywhere near his eye. He wriggled and tried to get away.
His eye looked cloudy. Special dye revealed a scratch on of Bruce’s eye which was now infected. When the cornea becomes damaged, it exposed deeper layers of the eye making it susceptible to infection.
The bacteria excretes acids and toxins, leading to further injury. Corneal ulcers are extremely painful and untreated, can lead to permanent damage.
Pugs’ bulgy eyes, combined with a short nose, are vulnerable to corneal damage. Breeds like Pugs, can suffer corneal ulcers repeatedly through their lives.
Bruce’s mom received eye drops and pain medication to care for the eye. Sometimes, though, dogs with eye injuries need to see a veterinary ophthalmologist for more advanced treatment. These techniques include special contact lenses or surgical grafting.
Without an effective treatment, a dog might end up losing the eye.
Bruce was lucky–the medical treatment alone was enough for his eye to recover. His cornea healed.
Take eye injuries in your dog seriously; see a veterinarian. Things can get bad fast. Not only are eye injuries painful but untreated, they can end up with blindness or loss of the eye.
If you have a brachycephalic breed, you need to be even more cautious because, due to their anatomy, eye injuries are common in these dogs.
A Primer On Corneal Damage in Dogs
Bulging Eyes in Dogs: When Your Dog’s Bulging Eyes Are Not Normal, And You Should Be Concerned
Causes of Cloudy Eyes in Dogs: What’s Happening To My Dog’s Eyes?
The Story of Blind Maximus
Corneal Ulcers in Dogs