Bloodshot Eye Diseases in Dogs

It is not uncommon for dogs to develop bloodshot eyes. The causes may be various. Whenever a dog appears to develop eye problems, it is best to have a veterinarian assess the situation to rule out potential problems that may cost the dog's sight. There are several common causes of red eyes in dogs.


Dogs affected by conjunctivitis will often present red, itchy eyes, a watery or purulent discharge and a tendency to squint. Because the conjunctiva is infected, treatment generally consists of antibiotics and special eye drops.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca

Also known as ''dry eye'' because of insufficient tear production, affected dogs will exhibit redness and a yellow green discharge, especially in the morning. Treatment consist of special eye drops and artificial tears.


Glaucoma occurs when there is too much pressure in the eye. Left uncorrected, glaucoma may cause permanent vision loss. Affected dogs may present with red, painful eyes, a cloudy or bluish tint over the cornea, tearing, dilated pupil, and ultimately, loss of sight.

High Blood Pressure

Dogs suffer as well from hypertension. When the blood pressure goes too high, the eyes may appear bloodshot, with dilated pupils and vision loss indicating an emergency. Left untreated, the dog's retinas may detach, causing permanent blindness.


If the redness does not seem to improve, it is best to have a veterinarian assess the eye within 24 hours.

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About the Author

Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.