Normally, a dog scratches his eyes no more than three to four times a day. And this process should not be accompanied by whining. If, along with the itching, other unpleasant symptoms appear (lacrimation, swelling, redness), then this cannot be considered a normal variant.
The reason must be sought in inflammatory diseases of the organs of vision, trauma and viral infections. But, most often, the cause of this phenomenon is an allergy, which very often affects the eyes and is accompanied by itching of varying intensity.
Description of Possible Diseases
It must be remembered that an immediate visit to the veterinarian is required in cases that are associated with eye injuries. These are spots, cracks and other neoplasms on the cornea.
Also, you need to be careful in a situation where the dog scratches his eyes until he bleeds with his paw, as it can not only introduce infection into open wounds (formed due to scratching), but also injure itself even more. Therefore, you always need to keep in mind possible diseases:
- Foreign body. More often than others, hunting breeds suffer, spending most of their lives in rough terrain. Plant seeds, weed thorns, wood chips and other small items of natural origin can act as a splinter. They can pierce the third eyelid and injure the cornea every time you blink. From this, the dog scratches his eyes with his paws, trying to find out the cause of the discomfort. If this is not done right away, the animal stops opening its eyes or starts squinting. Swelling and redness develop within a few hours. It is not always possible to detect, let alone remove, a foreign body from the organ of vision. Therefore, a visit to an ophthalmologist will be the most correct decision. Only he can find, correctly remove the splinter and assess the degree of damage to the cornea.
- Trauma. It can be localized on the eyelids, eyebrows and the eyes themselves. Depending on the nature and extent of the lesion, pain, itching and redness may be present. During the healing period, the dog scratches his eyes, but without much zeal. If even small wounds remain after scratching, then there is a possibility of developing a bacterial lesion that will not go away on its own. In most cases, injuries heal well even without the use of any remedies. If the wound is open, you can treat it with an antiseptic solution. Some people prefer to use brilliant green for this.
- Allergic reaction. The most common reason why a dog has itchy eyes for a long period of time. Most often, a reaction occurs to the introduction of a new product (or a change in feed), contact with potentially hazardous substances (household chemicals), plants (ragweed). You can notice something wrong by the receding hairline around the eyes, redness and small wounds that appear after scratching with paws or on hard surfaces. In some animals, food allergies can occur with minimal symptoms, which the owners often do not attach importance to (lacrimation, sneezing). As soon as itching joins, the problem immediately takes on a different scale, since the pet behaves restlessly. There is also a risk of complications from a bacterial infection that enters the body through scratching wounds. With minor lesions, a good solution would be to switch to a hypoallergenic food, if there is severe itching, then antihistamines are indicated. In the presence of scratching wounds, cytology of the affected areas must be performed to exclude fungal and bacterial infections. Masters of breeds prone to allergies (Bulldogs, Pugs, Yorkies, Spitz, Mastiffs) need to know that it cannot be completely cured. There is only a good chance of getting it under control by limiting the animal’s access to potential allergens.
- Demodecosis. It is very often can be found on the brow ridges, under the eyes and temples. A distinctive feature is the absence of itching, but the dog can rub his eyes with demodicosis, as it is often complicated by a bacterial infection. In puppies, juvenile demodicosis is distinguished, which in most cases goes away on its own without the use of any therapeutic measures. In adult dogs, demodicosis can be caused by a fungal infection, neoplastic process, hormonal disorders (estrus, childbirth). Single lesions can heal by themselves. But, there are also known cases of multiple lesions that led the animal to complete baldness. In severe cases, they look for and exclude the root cause, and then they take up the manifestations on the skin.
The dog scratches his eyes not always due to pathological reasons. Animals are also prone to natural itching, dust and insects in the eyes. Therefore, before sounding the alarm, you should carefully examine the pet and draw some conclusions on the basis of this. Situations requiring immediate hospitalization are described above.