Have you ever looked at your beautiful Westie and noticed small collections of gunk near the eyes, or what we call dog eye boogers. Have you wondered if you should wipe your dog’s eye boogers?
In this guide, we will take a look at what dog eye boogers are, whether you should wipe them away, and how to properly and safely remove your Westie’s eye boogers.
The eyes are sensitive areas, so it is important that you deal with them gently and safely to avoid the risk of infection.
Gunk on your dog’s eyes is a common issue, particularly for small breeds such as Westies.
The causes can range from seasonal allergies to more severe medical conditions like glaucoma.
What Are Dog Eye Boogers?
The tears are what keep our eyes healthy. Tears provide hydration, nourishment, and oxygen for the eyes and wash away bits of debris from the surface.
These bits of debris can accumulate with the tears at the corners of the eye, making them appear gunky or crusty.
This is the same for dogs.
Dog eye boogers is the term we often use to describe the small booger-like bits of gunk that come from our pet’s eyes.
This can often gather at the edges of the eyes where tear ducts typically are. Dog eye boogers are essentially bits of eye discharge. This can typically be watery or gunky in consistency.
Eye boogers on dogs are mostly made up of dried tears, oil, dead skin cells, dust, dirt, and mucus and will mostly be clear or have a brownish color.
You may notice dog eye boogers mostly in the morning or after sleeping, which is perfectly normal.
What Does Normal Dog Eye Discharge Look Like?
Normal eye discharge will often occur in the morning or after sleeping.
Your dog may have the same amount of eye discharge every day. However, if it keeps reappearing, or the consistency and color changes, then this could be a sign of a deeper issue.
Healthy eye discharge is clear or sometimes brownish when it dries. It is typically a little goopy when drying or slightly crusty when dried.
Watery discharge can be caused by seasonal allergies such as dust and pollen or blocked tear ducts.
Dark red and brown eye stains can signify tearing or a blocked tear duct.
If your dog has very white eye discharge and inflamed eyes, this could be a sign of conjunctivitis.
If the discharge is green or yellow, this is a sign of an infection, and your Westie will need medical help.
One of the most common eye problems that your Westie may face is conjunctivitis. There is a clear difference between usual eye boogers and conjunctivitis.
For instance, normal eye boogers will be clear or brown when dried and will typically go away after cleansing and not come back until your dog goes to sleep again.
When your dog has conjunctivitis, the eyes will be red, inflamed, and sore looking, and they may blink or squint a lot. You may notice a lot of gunky discharge, which can become crusty and matted around the eyes.
Your dog may also paw at the eyes, or try to avoid being touched on the head or near the eyes.
If your dog has eye discharge and it appears normal, without any irritation or other symptoms like scratching at the eye, then your Westie should be fine.
If they are pawing at the eyes, they seem red or inflamed, or the eye boogers are thick and discolored, speak to a veterinarian.
Should I Wipe My Dog’s Eye Boogers?
Yes, you should wipe your dog’s eye boogers, but you don’t have to. Sometimes they may go away on their own.
If you want to remove your pet’s eye boogers, you should do so with a gentle and safe approach.
It is best to use a clean cloth and water rather than any soaps that could irritate your dog’s skin and eyes.
How To Clean Your Dog’s Eye Boogers Safely
Most dog eye boogers will either be goopy and liquidy or they will have dried and become slightly crusty.
Keeping the eye area clean can ensure that these dried-up boogers do not get back into the eyes and cause problems or irritation.
Soft Eye Boogers (Fresh)
If your dog has soft eye boogers, it is best to use a moist cloth or cotton balls.
Simply moisten a washcloth, sponge, or cotton balls/pads with lukewarm water, and gently wipe the area around the eye to remove the gunk.
You can also use a saline solution.
Every time you wipe, use a clean area of the cloth or a new cotton ball/pad to ensure you are not spreading any bacteria.
You can also use dog wipes, but you may need to moisten them first.
You can also find dog-friendly eye wipes to remove discharge and mucus secretions from your dog’s fur.
For Westies with tear stains, you may want to use a gentle and soothing formula to rinse the eyes too.
Crusty Eye Boogers (Dried)
When the eye boogers dry, they can become crusty and, therefore, much harder to get off.
They can cling to the fur and make it difficult to remove them.
Crusty eye boogers form a sort of ball and can get threaded in the fur, especially in Westies.
To remove these eye boogers, you may need to moisten the boogers first.
Try using a warm flannel or damp washcloth and hold it on the area.
Then, you can try to wipe them away with a clean cloth.
If the crusty eye boogers are not moving, you may have to use a gentle eye comb to remove them completely.
What Not To Do
You may be tempted to just wipe away the mucus with your fingers, but you shouldn’t do this!
Our fingers can have oils and dirt on them, which can spread bacteria around the eye.
Dog eyes are sensitive, and you do not want to risk an infection, so always use a clean cloth to remove eye boogers.
To summarize, dog eye boogers are very common, and you may have noticed that your Westie gets them too!
Don’t worry – they are completely normal in most cases and usually appear in the morning after your Westie has slept.
Healthy eye discharge will be clear or brownish, whereas deeper issues in the eyes tend to have other symptoms, such as redness and thicker discharge around the eyes.
If your Westie has a strange eye discharge, ask a veterinarian for help.
However, you can clean any natural discharge away with a warm washcloth by gently rubbing the area to wipe it away.
Alternatively, if the boogers are crusty and dry, you may have to moisten them or use an eye comb to remove them.
Soon enough, your Westie will be back to looking as beautiful as always!
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