Dog Eyes

How To Clean Crusty Dog Eyes – Causes, Treatments & Prevention

Dog eye gunk is the last thing you want to touch and deal with, but the bad news is you have to. Dogs will occasionally end up with gunk by their eyes and you need to get rid of it. There are, of course, some causes – sorting these causes out will prevent gunk from reappearing. At the same time, there are certain techniques to soften the crust and make cleaning a breeze. Learning how to clean crusty dog eyes is not that difficult once you become familiar with the process though. So, what does it involve?

Analyzing the causes of crusty dog eyes


Learning how to clean crusty dog eyes begins with identifying the causes.

Conjunctivitis is the most common cause out there. It is also referred to as pink eye. It is an inflammation that brings in a yellowish or greenish discharge – it is similar to pus. It tends to turn into crust pretty fast and may also lead to itching sensations. Some cases are caused by bacteria, while others could be caused by viruses. The solution? Go see a vet. A vet will diagnose the potential affection and nail it down properly.

Epiphora refers to constant teary eyes – a common issue in people as well. With excessive tearing, your furry friend’s eyes will always be wet. The issue is in the duct, as it cannot get rid of all the tears. This type of problem tends to affect dogs with flat faces. Runny eyes can also darken the fur around the eyes – visible in dogs with light colored hair. Visit the vet to identify the precise cause and heal your dog. Sometimes, surgery might be required.

Apart from wet eyes, dry eyes also represent a common problem for crusty dog eyes – the issue is known as KCS. Dry eyes lack proper lubrication, meaning small particles cannot be flushed away. Irritations are only one step away. Causes are quite varied and while most cases are easy to treat, some of them can be quite dangerous and may even lead to blindness. Make sure you see a vet if you notice your dog has constant crusty eyes.

Now that you know the causes, learning how to clean crusty dog eyes is a matter of time only.


How to soften the gunk

Softening that gunk is the first step in the process. Softening the gunk makes it easy to remove it – no harm and stress for the dog either. Use a warm flannel and press it on your dog’s eye – one at a time. Apply a bit of pressure, but do it gently. The eye crust will soften naturally.

The other option involves getting a gunk treatment or eye drops for dogs. Such solutions have the ingredients required to soften and flush out the gunk.

While these options are quite common (you can get canine eye drops in every vet store, but you should still check with the vet first), there are a few other solutions to consider.


Use a dog tear stain remover

Such products are usually created for dogs suffering from epiphora. It is specifically created for stubborn and hard gunk. It softens the crust and makes the gunk easier to remove, but it also clears those unpleasant stains going down from the eyes.


Give your dog a trim

Dogs with long hair may experience even more problems because the crust goes in the hair. Removing it is more challenging, so a trim around the eyes will sort this issue out. Sure, there may still be gunk, but at least it is easier to remove.


Use a dog eye comb

This is another method that can help when learning how to clean crusty dog eyes. It works wonders if the gunk is stuck to the hair and not the actual eyes. However, you should still soften the crust a little or the process could be a bit painful for your furry friend.



Bottom line, there are more ways to learn how to clean crusty dog eyes – most commonly, you will learn out of necessity. Softening the crust is a must to make the process painless for the dog. It will also clear out the stress associated with it.

However, removing gunk on a regular basis is not everything. Instead, it pays off identifying the causes and fixing them as well. Most commonly, you will need to see a vet for this problem. Luckily, unless the situation is severe, it can be easily kept under control.

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