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Gunk in Dog's Eye and Blinking Often

by Leah
(Jersey City, NJ)


Winston is 7 years old, a very healthy, frisky Parson Russell Terrier. For the past 4 days now, his right eye has been red--though the redness seems to be getting lighter the past 2 days.

And in the morning, there's a good size glob (about the diameter of the top of a ballpoint pen "clicker") of limey-green dried gunk in the corner of his eye, which he allows me to remove with the nail of my index finger. His eye must be bothering him a little as he blinks more with that eye and every once in a while I've seen him use his front right paw to wipe that side of his face. His behavior otherwise doesn't seem affected--he's still frisky and playful and eager to do anything with me!

When on our walks, Winston does like to run through much of the landscaping surrounding my apartment building and others on the block--some of which includes rose bushes--so I was wondering if perhaps he got his eye scratched on a thorn or something.

Also, when we go for car rides, he needs to have his head out the window (otherwise he'll hyperventilate). And last weekend I did take him with me to Home Depot--twice, on Saturday and Monday. Could this have resulted in his eye irritation?

I saw on your site the recipe for the sea-salt solution, but didn't want to try it till I heard back from you.

Also, I just checked his eye, and the redness is much less BUT the morning glob of gunk is still daily. And this is something he never had before. Would the hair in his eyes be a culprit? (Though the left eye has little if any morning gunk....)

Thank you for your time,
Leah Rosch

Comments for Gunk in Dog's Eye and Blinking Often

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Apr 29, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Gunk in Dog's Eye and Blinking Often
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Leah,
From the photo you submitted of your cute dog Winston, he appears to have conjunctivitis. This is a swelling of the conjunctiva surrounding the eye, and also the third eyelid. The third eyelid is the membrane located in the inner corner of the eye, and contains a gland that can become inflamed and produce the mucous or 'gunk' as you describe it.

If Winston had scratched his cornea from running through the rose bushes, he would be squinting and holding his eye closed and showing a lot more pain than he is in the photo. Also, if he has a foreign body, such as a piece of grass or foxtail, he would be showing more discomfort.

Conjunctivitis is seen as an irritation of the third eyelid and conjunctiva, and can be caused by dogs holding their heads out car windows, smoke, dust or pollen. In some cases, one eye may be affected more than the other.

I do not think he picked up anything at Home Depot that would have caused this, and although he may have a few stray hairs close to the inner corners of his eyes, I do not think that was the cause.

At this time, I would suggest using saline or sea-salt solution to rinse his eye three times daily for about three days.

He may also need a homeopathic remedy called Pulsatilla. This is available at health food stores or from a holistic veterinarian. Pulsatilla 6c or 12c potency, given either by one dry pellet in his mouth, three times daily for three days or dissolve one pellet in a 1 oz glass dropper bottle, shake (or succuss) the bottle by hitting it against the palm of your hand 20 times, then give Winston 1/2 dropperful by mouth three times daily for three days.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
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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

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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. 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

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