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Over The Counter Remedy for Crusty or Draining Eyes in Dogs

Dogs can have simple eye problems such as chronic dry eyes than can easily be treated OTC.

Dogs can have simple eye problems such as chronic dry eyes than can easily be treated OTC.

The Problem

I recently adopted an older, small dog from my local pound. She is a delightful dog that just wants to cuddle and play. But I noticed that she also had a problem with her eyes.

Her eyes would get crusty and matted, sometimes to the point that she was squinting her eyes. She would also rub her eyes across the rug to try to get some of the crustiness out herself. She sometimes would take her paws and rub them across her nose. I could tell her eye drainage was really bothering her.

I tried using eye wipes and even a warm washcloth to clean the crust around her eyes but it would just return within a matter of hours. She was even losing some fur around her eyes.

OTC Recommendation

When I went by the vet to pick up a heartworm pill for her, I asked the very knowledgeable vet tech about the problem.

She recommended lubricant eye drops (the same kind that humans use) for the dog's eyes to help flush out any of the matter and tears that are building up in her eyes. If the eyes didn't get better, my plan was to bring the dog in for an exam.

After purchasing some and trying it for a few days, I can definitely say that it is working and my dog's eyes look better and brighter.

Administration Schedule

The lubricant eye drops that I purchased were Murine Tears. I started a schedule of three times a day: morning, some time in the afternoon, and right before bed.

The product is safe to use more than that and it may depend on your dog's level of eye irritation.

After using this product I have noticed that her eyes are brighter and the crust that built up at the corners of her eyes and onto her fur is not there any more.

In my dog's case, her breed has drier eyes which was causing the thicker, crusty buildup around her eyes. Using the lubricant tears helps to lubricate her eyes and keep them washed out.

OTC Eye Drops

Some dog breeds such as chihuahuas and flat faced breeds are more likely to have eye drainage and problems.

Some dog breeds such as chihuahuas and flat faced breeds are more likely to have eye drainage and problems.

How To Give Your Dog Eye Drops

Depending on the size and temperament of the dog it may be easier or harder to give the dog eye drops.

For my dog, who is 12 pounds, I simply put her on my lap and while petting her, opened up her eyes and let two drops go into her eye. I then repeated on the other side.

The first time was kind of a surprise for her but the next time she was ready. I made sure to lay her on her side and gently hold the eyelid open enough to put the drops directly into the eye.

For bigger or more wiggly dogs, you may need someone else to help you administer the eye drops by either holding or distracting the dog.

The key is to be confident and quick!

What Should You Rule Out First

Eyes are very sensitive organs in dogs and it is important, as a pet owner, that you rule out any other underlying issues, infections, or injuries.

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  • Scratch or Tear

If your dog has blinking and running or redness in one eye the dog may have a scratch or tear on the eyelid or on the cornea. Just like a human, this will require treatment from a specialist. So if the eye issue is in one eye, make sure to see a vet. The vet will use a special dye and light to check for scratches and then prescribe an antibiotic to help your dog get better.

  • Yellow or Green Discharge

In this case your dog may have some type of eye infection that could be cause by an irritant or injury. Take your dog into the vet and have the vet examine the discharge. An antibiotic may be needed in order to clear up the infection.

Other eye issues that may occur include pink eye and ulcers on the eye. It's best to rule out any issue that may require antibiotics or surgery before beginning the lubricant eye drops.

Please make sure I don't have a serious eye issue first! Then try eye lubricant drops.

Please make sure I don't have a serious eye issue first! Then try eye lubricant drops.

Saved Money

In my case, the simple eye lubricant drops were just what I needed to offer relief to my dog. As pet owners know, many times it can be expensive to treat issues that may arise with our animals. So it was a relief to find something that was cheap, over-the-counter, and worked to give my dog some relief. In this case I saved on a vet trip too as the vet tech was working the front desk where I was purchasing heartworm pills for my dog.

My dog is much happier and her eyes look so much better.

Note: This article is not meant to replace veterinary advice. Please make sure your dog is fully vetted and up to date on immunizations. Consult your vet before beginning any treatment plan for your pet.

© 2015 L C David


L C David (author) from Florida on May 30, 2016:

Poor baby! You likely need to see your vet if it is crusting that much. Diabetics are more prone to infection and she may need an antibiotic to get better.

susan on May 30, 2016:

My poodle baby is almost13 1/2 years old and she is diabetic and she is blind and until this all happened she never had this matting in her eyes and it is very crusty and I try to remove it with a warm damp cloth but it doesn't want to come off so about every three to four hours it is building up. Will these drops by murine help her and where can I get the wipes that are pre-treated to clean her eyes out. Is her being blind have anything to do with it ? And if so what is the remedy for her.

L C David (author) from Florida on January 04, 2016:

You know, I don't know. Cats have different metabolics than dogs. Dogs can sometimes use human remedies whereas cats can't. My siamese also has draining eyes and I have to clean his out once a day at least but I have not tried these eye drops on him.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on January 02, 2016:

Interesting information, LC. My Himilayan cat has one eye that drains some. Would this work on him as well?

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