Corneal Ulcer in a Pug: Bruce’s Eye Injury

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.

Corneal Ulcer in a Pug: Bruce's Eye Injury: The large, bulging eyes in the brachycephalic breeds look adorable but it makes them susceptible to injury.

Bruce’s story

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.

The treatment

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.

In closing

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.

Original story:
Bruce, a 1 year old Pug developed an ulcer on the surface of his eye

Related articles:
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

Further reading:
Corneal Ulcers in Dogs

Categories: ConditionsCorneal damageDog health advocacyEye injuriesReal-life Stories

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

  1. With two Persian Cats, I must always watch for their eyes. Truffle had a corneal ulcer a few years ago., Luckily, we caught it before it got infected. She was on eye medication for over 2 weeks. Luckily, her eye is okay. She does have a lot of drainage from that eye now and every once in a while, I put an antibiotic get in her eye. I do put liquid tears in her eye to keep it moist. I think Brulee may have scratched her eyes when they were playing.

  2. Although I never thought of pug’s bug-eyes as a risk for injury, it makes perfect sense. A scary realization!
    I’m so glad the medication worked for Bruce.

  3. Marjorie Dawson

    Things like this bring you up short. You don’t realise they happen. I would be worried and oh so conscious of eye problems if I had a pedigree pup like this and I can imagine how painful it was and I am so glad Bruce got successful vet help.

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