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Watery Eyes

Watery Eyes

A severe watery eye or eye discharge of the pet causes constant wetness and irritation. Watery eyes in pets, also known as epiphora, is characterized by the overproduction of tears. While it is a genetic condition in some cats and many toy-sized dogs, it can occur in larger dogs as well. When watery eyes is not caused due to a genetic predisposition, it is typically caused by conjunctivitis, allergies, distichiasis, entropian, trauma, sinusitis, facial paralysis or tear duct obstructions.

How to Recognize

Watery eyes, or epiphora, is common in many breeds of dogs and cats; however, in some cases, it can be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Determining whether or not your pet's watery eyes may be an indication of an illness is actually quite easy if you know what to look for. Read on for more information. First of all, you need to be able to recognize whether or not your dog or cat's watery eyes are normal. You can do this by taking note of any other symptoms it may be displaying. If, in addition to watery eyes, your pet is also experiencing any of the symptoms listed here, you should make an appointment with your vet: Inflamed Skin Under the Eye, Pink or Red-Colored Eye/s, Infected Skin Under the Eye, Thick Discharge from the Eye, Swollen Eye/s, and Squinting/Blinking.

Causes of Watery Eyes

There are many health issues that can cause watery eyes in cats and dogs. Nevertheless, the reason that your pet's eyes may water excessively is typically due to some type of irritation. This is usually in the form of such things as foreign material (dust or debris), bacterial infections or injuries.


To find out what may be causing your pet's watery eyes, your veterinarian will need a complete medical history of your pet. Additionally, he or she will also need to know where your pet commonly plays and if its behavior has changed recently. Even the smallest pieces of information can help reach a diagnosis. A thorough eye examination will be conducted and an eye test using a special chemical known as fluorescein will likely be performed. This is a non-invasive test that can determine whether or not the tear ducts are functioning normally. A complete physical exam may be performed as well. Other tests that may be necessary are as follows: Radiographs of the Eye/s, Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Eye/s, Computed Tomography Scan of the Eye/s, and Cultures of Eye Discharge.

Similar Symptoms

In some cases, your pet may display a symptom involving the eyes that has nothing at all to do with the eyes. For example, if your pet is blinking or squinting, it does not necessarily mean the eyes have become sensitive to light. It could mean that your pet is experiencing pain somewhere in its body. Further, if your dog or cat has sores and/or infections around the eyes, it does not always mean that it is suffering from an eye problem. It could be pointing to such conditions as flea infestations, mange, injuries or self-mutilation. It is for these reasons that a complete physical exam may be necessary before your vet can diagnose your pet.

Possible Conditions

There are many health conditions that can cause watery eyes. While some of these issues are quite minor and easy to treat, others can become serious if not treated promptly. In fact, some of these conditions can even lead to blindness if you do not obtain the proper treatment for your pet immediately: Entropian, Conjunctivitis, Distichiasis, Rhinitis/Sinusitis, Foreign Material, Trauma, Tumors of the Eyelid, Tear Duct Blockages, and Glaucoma.

Treatment for Watery Eyes

The treatment that your pet will need for watery eyes depends on your vet's diagnosis. However, depending on the exact cause of this symptom, treatment may include one or more of the following medications and medical procedure: Flushing of the Eye, Antibiotic Ointments, Antibiotic Injections, Topical Corticosteroids, Pain-Relieving Ointments, Surgery, Cryosurgery/Electrolysis, and Placement of a Canula. If your pet is suffering from watery eyes, the first thing you need to do is determine whether or not the symptom may be a sign of illness. You can do this by utilizing the valuable information described above. Keep in mind that if you are ever in doubt, it is best to seek veterinary help.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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