Extra eyelashes can cause discharge & damage the eyes.

 

Question:

I have a wonderful little female Bichon Frise.  She has these really bad leaky eyes that turn the hair around her eyes brown and black.  When I look real closely, especially at her left eye, looks like she has sleep in her eyes all the time.  She is not a show dog, just our sweet little pet, so I just wonder how much this bothers her or if it causes her pain of any kind?  Is there anything I can do to help her?

 

 

Dr. Nichol:

This is an important question. While a small amount of overflow of tears is normal in this breed, there could be other reasons why your dog has this discharge. Your first move needs to be an exam by your dog’s doctor to make sure that there are no extra eyelashes that may be rubbing on her eyes. Dogs with this problem, called dystichiasis, have continual eye pain. It may also cause permanent damage to the corneal surface of the eye resulting in blindness. No bueno.

 

So what if your veterinarian gives this girl a clean bill of eye health? No real problem-unless her appearance is your major concern. For good looks I recommend a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab applied to the discolored hair near each eye. Be extremely careful to avoid touching the eyeball itself as this can damage the eye. After a few weeks of daily treatments she’ll be so good looking she can try out for Miss America. Better teach her to sing and dance.