Should I Worry If My Pet Has Watery Eyes?

Dog with eye infection.

Our pet’s eyes are central to who they are, and how we interact with them. As a result, any illness or injury to the eyes is noticeable immediately. If your pet has watery eyes all of a sudden (or intermittently), we can share possible reasons for this and what you can do to help them.

Read Between the Lines

When a pet has watery eyes, or excessive teariness, they may have something called epiphora. Certain dog breeds (especially brachycephalic breeds like pugs, Shih Tzus, or cocker spaniels) can be more prone to this condition than others. Cats can be affected as well. 

Most of the time, epiphora is harmless, but there are some incidents that require veterinary support. 

In Addition to Tears

Epiphoa can cause staining on the fur around the eyes, most notably in white-coated pets. Another side effect of excessive tearing is the breeding potential for harmful bacteria caught in the skin fold around the eyes and face. Some pets benefit from extra grooming around the face to keep skin folds dry and free of bacteria. 

When to Worry About Infection

The eyes can be vulnerable to various types of infection. Whether bacterial, fungal or viral, eye infections are nothing to ignore. Beyond normal eye tearing, you might see swelling or thick discharge coming from the eyes. 

Foreign body injury to the eye is also common. Some pets run into the bushes chasing prey or rub dirt, sand, or debris into their eyes during a regular day. Possible symptoms include obvious pain, squinting, closing of the eyes, or pawing at the face, all of which can make the issue worse. 

Please do not delay seeking veterinary care in the aftermath of an injury to the eyes. South Seminole Animal Hospital has extensive experience treating eye illness and injury, and can help your pet get back to normal.

Another Reason for Concern

Epiphora can also be related to allergies. We can help you get to the bottom of food or environmental triggers that cause watery eyes in your pet.

Your Pet Has Watery Eyes

Sometimes a pet has watery eyes for reasons that don’t require immediate veterinary assistance or long-term support. If you ever see the following symptoms in addition to excessive tearing, please let us know:

  • Discharge that is yellow or green and has an odor
  • Twitching or squinting of the eyes
  • Obvious pain to the touch on the face
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pawing at the face or rubbing it on the carpet
  • Whining or wincing
  • Vision issues

Our staff is happy to assist you at  (407) 831‑5205. We can provide safe, effective treatment for all of your pet’s needs.