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Dog with eye discharge and slightly red/pinkish eye rims

I am interested in adopting this dog, but I am a little bit worried about what I see in this picture.

She is a beautiful sheltie/spitz mix and I will be meeting her soon. I have been told that she is up to date on vaccinations, de-wormed, and no fleas. The rescue organization deems her to be generally healthy.

She seems to have a healthy thick coat but her eyes concern me. This will be my first time with a dog and adopting a rescue animal and my biggest concern is the health of the dog.

I understand that any dog may have health issues along the way and I am prepared for that BUT I do not want to start off with a dog that already has health problems.

I am noticing that her eye has a chunk of black or dark brownish discharge in the corner of her eyes as seen in the picture. And, the rims of her eyes seem a bit inflamed and pinkish (not completely black).

Is this just eye "goop" or a cause for concern?

She also has honey colored eyes which I think are beautiful but might this be a health concern? Is it honey-colored due to illness or unusual to have?

I have been advised by many that I should be on the look out for a healthy coat, eye discharge and lameness. She appears to have a healthy coat and I can't speak to her interactions yet but is this typical eye discharge or a sign of a serious problem?

Also, from the picture does it seem like her eyes are cloudy or opaque? Perhaps this is just due to the color?

My next question is that the rescue said their de-worming consisted of giving Strongid-T. Is this an effective de-wormer and would I need to still worry about the presence of parasites and put her on another de-wormer? I was told that they do not do fecal sample inspections and that I'd have to do that myself later on.

Lastly, do you have any other tips on what I should be looking for in terms of behavior and health of the dog when I meet her? I will be a first time dog owner (she is about 2 years old).

Thank you!

Comments for Dog with eye discharge and slightly red/pinkish eye rims

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Dec 29, 2010
My Online Vet Response for Dog with eye discharge and slightly red/pinkish eye rims
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Adopting a new dog for the first time can be a bit of a daunting experience. But it is also so wonderful to be able to provide a home and care for this little girl, and in return gain a companion who will be with you the rest of her life, and who will (hopefully) give you unconditional love.

From the photo you sent, the color of her eyes are normal for a collie/Sheltie mix, and the slight amount of dark crusty eye discharge may be only a factor of her environment. If it is dusty, it may only be an accumulation of dirt.(And the slight redness only due to irritation.)

Also, if she has been on a poor quality diet, that will also play a factor in her health.

An eye infection would be lighter in color, such as mucous or a purulent discharge would be white or yellow, and would be seen as running down the inner corner of her eye along her nose.

At 2 years of age, she should not have any cloudiness in her eye. The cloudiness would be seen when you look directly into her pupils (better if you shine a light into her eyes), and there would be an opaque area behind the pupil where the lens of the eye is becoming cloudy.

I think this photo has the white reflection from the camera flash in her eyes. I think she looks pretty healthy from the photo. If you could clean her eyes, improve her diet, place her in a clean environment for a wee, and then observe if the dark discharge continued to appear, I would be concerned.

Other things to watch for:

Upon first introduction, notice if she is extroverted, if she seems happy to see you and if she immediately comes up to you to be petted. That is great!

If she is shy, stays in the back of the kennel, and needs to be coaxed to come forward to meet you, she may have some behavioral issues and need a little more work to gain her confidence. When adopting an adult dog, it is hard to know what her past experiences have been like with her prior owners.

Of course, while visiting with her notice if she moves well, or if she is limping or if she stays in a crouched position and does not stand up straight with her tail held up high.

Lift up her upper lips to look at her canine teeth and incisors to see if they are broken, covered with tartar, or if there is any gum inflammation.

Look in her ears, check if they are painful or have increased wax.

Feel of her coat as you pet her head and back to determine whether she has any scabs, wounds, lumps, matted hair or painful areas.

Since you are a stranger to her, move slowly and talk patiently to her, and observe if she shies away from your touch, or does not like her head touched or her feet touched.

(See part 2 for the continuation of my response.)

Dec 29, 2010
Part 2 My Online Vet Response for Dog with eye discharge and slightly red/pinkish eye rims
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

(continued from above)

I would definitely advise a fecal test and a heartworm test to be done, if you do adopt her.

Strongid T does not kill coccidia or Giardia. If she is positive for heartworm, it may cost several hundred dollars to have her treated.

Ask what food she is eating. It may only be a generic kibble/dry food, which is not the best in quality.

See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options and check out the raw dog food diets that would be the healthiest.

But she may have to be slowly and gradually switched over to that dog food diet.

She will also need to have tartar control treats or snacks after each meal to keep her teeth clean.

A long haired dog will require a bit more responsibility and upkeep than a short haired dog. She will need to be brushed daily and checked for stickers or leaves that may get caught in her hair when she goes outside for walks.

Keeping her hair shorter around her rectum to ensure stool does not get stuck there. And giving her a bath once a month will help keep her clean, using baby shampoo. Check our section on dog grooming instructions for more information.

Keeping her healthy by regular checkups with a holistic veterinarian would also be best. To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

I hope this advice is helpful in making your decision on adopting her.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Eye Problems,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Eye Problems Section,
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section

Aug 16, 2011
What should I do?
by: Linda

NAME: Pookie II
BREED: Standard Schnauzer (White)
AGE: almowt 10 years old (DOB 10/21/2001)

This problem started about 2 days ago. His left eye is red and running puss. Last night, I washed his eye and face with a damp cloth (clear water, but the puss-running is still a problem. Because of excessive foot licking, my vet suggested that I change his food. He changed from Iams Small Chunks to Blue Buffalo Salomon Recipe. Could changing is food be the problem?

Aug 16, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog with eye discharge and slightly red/pinkish eye rims
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Linda,

Thanks for your question. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos.
I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

PS--In this case, Pookie's eye problem will need more immediate care, and I suggest you seek out the help of a veterinarian today!

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