Dog’s Eyes Suddenly Pop Out: Possible Triggers


Eye prolapse (proptosis) is a frequent occurrence in dog breeds with flat faces. The slightest injury can lead to this pathology of the organs of vision. What should be undertaken if dog’s eyes pop out, whether it is possible to deal with the condition on your own or it is absolutely imperative that the animal should be taken to a specialist on a fast-track basis?


Proptosis is a pathological antedisplacement of the eyeball. The following symptoms are associated with the problem:

  • the eye looks hypertrophied;
  • conjunctiva is red and swollen;
  • there may be traces of blood;
  • the animal often blinks, squints and shows other signs of photophobism;
  • the cornea gets dry and looks opaque;
  • general weakness and decreased activity due to pain.

The phenomenon tends to progresses gradually and the symptoms are very prominent even at the initial stage. Therefore, the condition can be resolved if the guardian is in habit of carefully monitoring the general physical state of the pet. The first sign comes usually in the form of the white of the eye becoming covered with red veins and slightly shifting forward.


A predisposing factor to the loss of an eye is the brachycephalic structure of the skull bones, which is anatomically determined. Such dogs have a flattened muzzle, a wide eye slit, a turned-up nose and bulging round eyes. This is applicable to such breeds as Pekingese, Shar Pei, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Pugы, English Bulldog, Japanese Hin, Bullmastiff.

In these breeds, the muscles supporting the eyeball are shortened, and the eye pit is shallow. The function of holding of the eyeball down in the socket falls to a greater extent on the eyelids and external rectus muscles.

Dog’s eyes can pop out due to one of these causes:

  1. excessive exercise;
  2. injury, head blow, especially if it falls to the temple area;
  3. hydrocephalus;
  4. high intracranial pressure;
  5. tumor.

Diseases are less likely to provoke this phenomenon than mechanical effects.

Photos of Dogs’ Eyes that Popped out

bull dog's eyes pop out dog's eyes pop out and red dog's eyes pop out treatment dog's eyes pop out with blood dog's eyes popping out

Is it Possible to Set the Eye without Assistance?

Cases like this should only be treated by a veterinarian. Yet, even before you bring your pet to the clinic, it is recommended to conduct these procedures:

  • Wash dog’s eye with saline and artificial tears or plain water (boiled and cooled to a comfortable temperature). Douching or gently washing the eye with a soft cloth or gauze are preferable. Do not use products made of cotton, as its villi left on the sore area lead to even more irritation.
  • It is necessary to apply cold on the swollen area around the affected organ. Make sure it does not touch the cornea. Foe the compress, pieces of ice should be covered in a plastic cover-up, wrapped in a cloth and applied for 10 minutes to eliminate puffiness and reduce bleeding.
  • Hydrocortisone or tetracycline ointment or a moisturizing gel is to be applied to the sore area.
  • To prevent further injury of the eyes by the dog itself, a protective collar is recommended.

These actions are supposed to improe the pet’s condition and reduce the risk of even greater displacement of the eyeball. It is absolutely forbidden to treat the optic organ with fluids containing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine and other antiseptic substances, since those will cause the mucous membrane to dry up even more, and thus irritation and discomfort will only increase.

Before a visit to the veterinarian, hold off on feeding your pet and giving it any painkillers. It is crucial to bring the dog to the hospital immediately after the first aid treatment was conducted. Delay can only lead to inflammation, purulent lesion, drying of the cornea, retinal detachment, even rupture of the optic nerve and eye muscles. In severe cases, it may be necessary to completely remove the organ of vision. If a dog’s eye is drooping, any treatment should be carried out in a clinic setting.

The alignment of the eyeball and fixing eye muscles is performed under general anesthesia. After the surgical operation the area of ​​ is treated with ointments, bandaged, and a collar is put on the animal. Suture removal is usually carried out in a week, and for all this period, the doctor usually prescribes antibiotics. After 2-4 weeks, the ocular muscles tend to recover completely.

Preventive Measures

Since dogs of brachycephalic breeds are especially predisposed to the condition, they require be extreme caution when treated:

  • protect the pet from head injuries that it may receive from hitting a door or falling from a sofa.
  • do not lift the dog by the collar, so that the skin on the skull does not stretch.

Owners of the breeds predisposed to the condition should always have the first aid treatment on hand.

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