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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

First time poster here. Nice to meet you all. What a fantastic place to gather information. Hopefully you guys can advise me on my dog's eye issues. Here's the story:

My beagle mix went to the dog beach a few weeks back. Just for your information, we live in Chicago and the lake isn't the cleanest - but most families let their dogs swim in the lake. Our dog LOVES the water so, as he always does, he swam for a while, played with a few dogs, and then we played in the sand for another 20 minutes or so. When we were in the car I noticed that he had a lot of sand in the corners of his eyes. I managed to gently wipe away almost all of it so I thought it would be fine. The next day, he had green-ish thick eye discharge that had me very worried. I called our vet and she recommended to get some over-the-counter eye wash for him. So we used that for a few days, and it would clear up a little bit for a while (a few hours) and then come back.
We took him to the vet for a routine procedure and while there I asked her to check his discharge because by that time I was really worried (this was 2 weeks after having been at the beach). The vet took a sample and did some blood work and couldn't detect anything. She then said it was allergies. But 1) we didn't change anything in his diet or environment, 2) he never had eye issues before, and 3) it started bang on the day after he went to the dog beach. She said to just wait and see if it gets better. Well, it hasn't gotten better at all. Every morning he has pea-sized green gloops around his eyes that return within an hour after being wiped away. I called her again on Friday and she said again that it's allergies and to just wait and use the over-the-counter eye wash (which he HATES and that doesn't seem to actually fix the problem).

So yesterday I ran into one of my neighbors who was also walking her dog and I pointed out my dog's eyes. She said the same thing happened to her dog! She took her to the dog beach and the next day she had eye discharge; she took her to the vet and the vet said it was allergies. She said she used natural remedies that fixed her dog's eye issues right away. I think she said she fed her dog garlic and grapeseed oil and it cleared up within a few days. Now, my dog has never gotten any garlic and I know there's some debate about whether or not dogs should eat garlic so I'm apprehensive. Similarly, the grapeseed oil is made from grapes - which, judging from everything that I have read, are highly toxic to dogs.

So I was wondering if anyone has any good natural remedies for eye discharge in dogs? As I said, I'm not quite sure what it is so something mild and non-aggressive would be best. While the vet insists it's allergies that seems unlikely to me, especially because my neighbor's dog had the exact same thing happen to her. The vet also doesn't seem to have a plan, she just keeps saying to wait until it clears up. Meanwhile my poor dog's eye are constantly crusty. I don't know if he's itchy or in pain. His eyes are red (but he's a beagle mix, so they're always a bit on the pink side) and he rubs his paws on his face sometimes but not much more than he used to.

Any advice?

Thanks everyone!
 

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I use livestock medicine. If you have one go to your local farm store and pick up some vetacin eye wash. It always worked for me. Even clears up pink eye.
 

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I would not use garlic or grapeseed oil as both are likely to be toxic to dogs.

I'd be going to another vet for a second opinion. There are also veterinary ophthalmologists out there to go to if you need that level of expertise.
 

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I would not use garlic or grapeseed oil as both are likely to be toxic to dogs.

I'd be going to another vet for a second opinion. There are also veterinary ophthalmologists out there to go to if you need that level of expertise.

Ditto both comments.

If she didn't test for tear production and corneal ulcers, then you need to find another vet who will do it. That's where I'd have started if they weren't performed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Sorry, I forgot to add a crucial bit of information. The vet did check for scrapes or scratches on his corneas and found nothing.

While I will take him to another vet if the problem persists, I would like to try some natural alternatives first. Of course if you guys have any suspicion that it could be something serious I will rush to the vet right away.

Again, sorry I forgot to mention that the vet checked out his corneas. That was obviously a really important bit to add.
 

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Well, I disagree with your order on how you want to do things. They eyes are VERY sensitive and I'd rather you get a second opinion before you try to self-treat with something, whether natural or not, so that if there IS something wrong, there isn't a chance of her permanently damaging her eye. Obviously it is your call, but I don't think it's a good idea to try to self-medicate eye problems when you are sure something has definitely changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Before I come across as not sufficiently worried about my dog's eyes I just want to clarify that the vet seemed utterly unconcerned and reassured me (several times) when I called her. We've been with her ever since we've adopted our dog and we always trusted her.
Also, as I said above, I am not sure if his eyes are redder or if he is itching his eyes more than he used to.
To clarify, I asked for a natural remedy as our neighbor's dog has been cured so quickly from pretty much the same problem and especially because she managed to fix the problem simply by adding things to her dog's diet. As my dog hates eyedrops/eyewashes with a passion and panics really badly at the vet, I thought I'd ask around.

That being said, my worries are now confirmed and I will follow your advice and see another vet tomorrow. Since his regular vet checked his bloodwork, corneas, and took a sample of the discharge and found nothing, what else do you guys think it could be?
 

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I have not done this personally but many of my friends have put colloidal silver on their dogs eye. It acts as an antibiotic and is very efficient. I would consult a professional and research side effects. I also agree to get another opinion.
 

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I think seeing another vet is a good idea. The eye is just too sensitive to try and self-medicate with anything beyond simple eye washes, or to leave untreated for very long. Vision is precious and delicate.

My guess would be an eye infection of some type...This can be caused by a variety of things. Viruses, bacteria, fungus...It could be related to the sand in the eye from the lake.

Did your vet stain the cornea when she examined the eyes? A tear in the cornea may go unnoticed unless the eye was stained. The stain is harmless, it just helps to show any ulcers, rips or tears more easily. A tear test would be a good idea too as Holly mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tiggerbounce, thanks for the tip. I am not sure if she did or not. Egg (our dog) was panicking so badly she asked us to leave during the examination. He gets really really scared at the vet and she said not having us in the same room helps him calm down. But I called the practice this morning and she has yet to call me back. I will ask her if she stained the cornea.
Her assistant told me to try Alaway eyedrops. I've already made an appointment with another vet (the earliest day available is Thursday) so should I wait and see what they say first or should I go ahead and try those eyedrops? They're an anti-histamine so I might find out if it is allergies after all. Are those likely to cause any damage?

My neighbor also thought it might have been some sort of virus or fungus going around as the very same thing happened to her Lilly at the beach. As mentioned above, she managed to quickly cure it with garlic and grapeseed oil. Of course now I'm wondering what type of fungus or virus could be cured with a simple two day fix of dietary supplement of garlic and grapeseed oil (which I will NOT feed Egg, no worries) so I could let the other vet know tomorrow.

Any other guesses what it could be? I want to go into the next appointment super prepared, knowing which tests to ask for.

JJJ, I will ask about the colloidal silver. I've looked into it a bit already and heard a lot about it. I'll ask the new vet what they think. Thanks!
 

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Just and FYI:
The Reality of Garlic in Dog Food

When garlic is added for flavor, the maximum usage level is around 3 g per kilogram of food. Our 12 kg dog eating 200 g of food would eat approximately 0.6 g per day. To achieve the health benefits of garlic, the usage level is around 1.5 g of garlic per kilogram of food. A 12 kg dog would eat about 0.3 g a day. It is very apparent that these levels are nowhere close to the levels used in their experiment, and at these levels research had not shown any effect of garlic on red blood cells. The confusion comes from not considering the dosage rate.
Dosage

Question: What is the difference between a nutrient, a drug, and a toxin? Answer: Dosage.
That is an old saying among nutritionists, and it’s true. To say something is toxic without some reference to the level needed to cause the toxic effect is misleading, especially in the fields of nutrition and health.
Lots of nutrients we, and our pets, consume are potentially toxic. An example is the trace mineral selenium. Selenium is usually added to pet foods at the level of 0.2 ppm (parts per million). Increase that level to 1 ppm you get additional health benefits. Increase it to 10 ppm and the level becomes toxic, possibly even deadly.
Another example of where confusion is caused by talking about toxicity without considering dosage rate is Poinsettias. “Poinsettias are toxic; don’t let your dog near them.” Not true.
Chocolate is another example. Chocolate can be deadly to dogs in high dosages, especially highly-potent chocolate such as unsweetened baker’s chocolate or cocoa powder. If your Labrador steals a single milk chocolate off the table, it will likely suffer no ill effects. If your Teacup Poodle eats a whole box of dark chocolate, she should visit the veterinarian immediately.
The list of potentially toxic items could go on and on. I could include nutrients like salt, vitamin D, or Zinc. You name it, and it could be toxic at some level.
Garlic is Healthy

Garlic is added to dog foods because it has many health benefits, even at the very low levels used. Its main benefit is improvement to the health of the digestive tract. The other medicinal properties of garlic include: anti-microbial, antioxidant, antibiotic, fights cancer cells, decreases blood cholesterol, helps to prevent strokes and decreases blood pressure.
In fact, most of the research into the effect of feeding garlic to dogs is done because the researchers want to better understand the benefits of garlic, not the dangers.
Be assured that garlic is safe at the level used in dog foods, and remember that talking about toxicity without putting in some context of a “normal” consumption level is misleading.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you, furbabymum. That's great information! I will look into it some more.

So we tried the Alaway early this morning and it was a disaster. Egg's eyes went really red and he started squinting. His right eye looked sunken and just really awful. So I ended up taking him to a vet in the suburbs right away, it didn't seem like it could wait until tomorrow. They ran all tests you guys suggested above (cornea stain test, tear production, eye pressure, checked for ulcers etc) and found nothing. They concluded that Egg has mild conjunctivitis and gave us eyedrops that contain a mild steroid and antibiotics (Neopolydex). We have to give those to him twice daily for 10 days. Oh my. Egg struggled so bad at the vet they needed several people to hold him down :(

Do you guys think conjunctivitis makes sense? His right eye still looks pretty bad (red, a bit sunken, squinting) but his other eye seems better.

Also, thank you everyone for suggesting a second opinion. I'm glad I ended up going to a second vet instead of trusting the first one and trying dietary supplements first. It would have just prolonged the whole ordeal.
 

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Conjunctivitis makes sense.

Its actually possible to clicker train a dog into accepting eye drops. I did it with my last dog.

Are you familiar with clicker training?

- start by "loading the clicker", which means click then give a treat (c/t). Do this about 20 times. You can use just plain kibble

The principle here is the dog learns that the click means the promise of a treat.
The click now "marks" the moment the dog did what will now earn the reward.
Now you are going to move on and "mark" the things that the dog will be rewarded for. Timing your click is very important. Give the click when the dog is holding still and cooperating. Do the progression in very tiny steps that the dog can accept without being restrained. For this to work, the dog must feel like he has a choice and is choosing to hold still. This means teeny steps. I'll outline the basics, but you may need to do much smaller steps.

- First hold the dropper bottle for the dog to see.... c/t. repeat as many times as needed until the dog seems happy to view the bottle
- then hold the bottle near his face... c/t. Repeat until the dog is accepting the dropper near his face.
- now place your hand on his face while holding the bottle near his eye. c/t. repeat until the dog is accepting this well.
- finally, give an eye drop, c/t

use high value treats each time you start a harder level.
Do this in 5 minute sessions, then give the dog a break.
Depending on the temperament of your dog, you could be giving eye drops easily in a few sessions, or unfortunately, it could take many days to train, which I realize you don't have, but its worth a try.
 
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