What’s that Gunk in My Pet’s Eyes?

From time to time you may notice ‘gunk’ accumulating in your beloved pet’s eyes. But what causes it and is it serious?

dog-eye-gunk-discharge

‘Ocular Discharge’ as it’s known in the industry, is a very common occurrence and something we veterinarians see daily in our consultations – with both cats and dogs. There are a number of eye diseases which can cause the build up.

Ocular Discharge can present as a thick, somewhat sticky material that comes in a diverse array of colors. Usually it’s white, tan, or yellow. Ocular Discharge is usually a sign of inflammation and/or infection and should be taken seriously.

If you notice a build up in your pet’s eye or eyes, it’s probably worth making an appointment with your veterinarian to get a thorough examination.

There are two common ocular diseases which cause the discharge.

Conjunctivitis

Also referred to as ‘Pink Eye’, Conjunctivitis is the one I most commonly encounter. Pink Eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the pink membrane surrounding the eye). Generally I recommend my clients treat Conjunctivitis with eye ointments or drops containing antibiotics. In rare cases it may be need to be treated with anti-inflammatory ointments or drops.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)

The second most common ocular condition causing discharge is Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS), or ‘Dry Eye Syndrome’. KCS is caused by a lack of proper ocular tear production. As always, there are many underlying causes of this lack of tear production from genetics to immune causes. KCS is treated with cyclosporine-containing eye ointments.

Of course, there are other more serious eye ailments which can cause an ocular discharge. A visit to your veterinarian’s office is the best advice when dealing with serious eye problems.

How Can Activ4Pets Help?

Believe it or not, Ocular Discharge can be diagnosed via virtual consultation. If you’re having a busy week, struggling to find time to see your veterinarian, and they participate in Activ4Pets you could instead consult via webcam.

The audio/visual feed allows your vet to clearly see the build up while you explain the symptoms and answer their questions. Your vet can prescribe medication (where appropriate and necessary) via our online platform and afterwards, you can continue your daily life – sans the stress of driving home with your pet in the car.

And, if you want to follow up with your vet, you can take and share daily pictures of your pet’s progress, charting the gradual decline of that troublesome gunk!


Meet the Author

Clayton-Jones-DVM

Dr. Clayton Jones

Dr. Jones has 25 years of veterinary medical experience as a staff veterinarian and medical director of his own practice. As well as being the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Activ4Pets, Dr. Jones is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Society and President of the US-Cuba Veterinary Cooperation Society.

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