Dog Health – Why Are My Dog’s Eyes Red?

If you’re wondering why your dog’s eyes are red, we are going to provide details here about some of the common reasons for red eyes in dogs which will help you in proper diagnosis as well as treatment of the problem.

Generally, red eyes are signs of infection or inflammation and commonly seen in diseases which effect third eyelid, cornea, external eyelids, sclera or conjunctiva. Other reasons could be inflammation occurring inside a dog’s eye, build up of pressure inside the eye known as glaucoma and diseases affecting the eye socket. The eyes turn red when sclera, conjunctiva or cornea blood vessels enlarge due to above mentioned problems.

Let’s look at some of the common causes which result in red eyes in dogs and their symptoms.

1. Anterior Uveitis: It is inflammation taking place in iris and caused by bacteria, cancer, trauma and viruses. The symptoms are swollen iris, squinting, cloudiness in cornea, dog avoids facing light, constricted pupil and a lot of tearing.

2. Blepharitis: In blepharitis inflammation occurs in eyelids because of allergies, infection and sometimes due to irritants. Swollen as well as red eyelids are common symptoms in this condition.

3. Corneal Ulcer: In this condition cornea’s surface breaks down and is accompanied by excessive tearing, squinting and dog tries to avoid light.

4. Dry Eye: It refers to insufficient production of tear in the eyes and discharge of white or green liquid from eyes in large quantities is a common symptom.

5. Cherry Eye: This condition is recognized by protruding gland which is present on third eyelid’s inside part. As a symptom you will notice a shape similar to a small cherry protruding from the back of third eyelid.

6. Conjunctivitis: Allergies or infection can sometimes result in conjunctiva’s inflammation and this condition can be recognized by excessive discharge and redness of conjunctiva.

7. Foreign Bodies: Red eyes can occur in case plant or mineral particles get embedded on eye surface. These objects are visible and cause a lot of tearing.

8. Glaucoma: It is caused by increase in pressure inside the eye and pupil looks dilated, eyes are swollen in addition to enlargement of blood vessels in eye’s white section.

9. Hyphema: Trauma as well as clotting disorders could result in appearance of blood in interior eye chamber and symptoms would be visible emergence of blood and if blood covers some part of pupil then it can affect vision as well.

10. Lens Luxation: Eye lens displaces from usual position due to hereditary or congenital reasons but can also result because of trauma. As symptoms you will find abnormal appearance of iris and sometimes displacement of lens.

11. Proptosed Globe: Eye comes out from socket as a result of some type of trauma.

12. Superficial Keratitis: In this condition cornea inflammation occurs due to constant irritation, allergy or virus infection. Some symptoms are squinting, excessive discharge or cloudy appearance of cornea.

13. Tumor: Red eye is also sometimes caused by tumors around the eye and the signs largely vary based on location as well as size of the tumor.


The above are common reasons dogs suffer with irritated eyes. Understanding the symptoms for your dog’s conditions can help determine the exact case and treatment. You can then consult a vet for proper treatment of the problem and prevent recurrences.