It’s fun to take our pets to the beach or park, but we occasionally see ocular problems such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) or corneal ulcers from the irritating effects of sand and wind-borne grass and particles on the surface of the eye. Pets are especially prone to these medical issues since they are so much closer to the ground!

We recently saw pet patient Halsey for squinting and discharge after a training session in a grassy field. These symptoms are not uncommon in young dogs, especially during the summer months. As you will see in the video below, we retrieved a very irritating grass awn from behind her third eyelid. After removing this foreign object, she was immediately more comfortable and is back to frolicking in fields again!

There are many months ahead for our pets to enjoy a romp in the great outdoors, so please keep the following solutions close at hand to administer relief to irritated eyes:

  • To flush out sand or wind-born particles, use a sterile saline eye-irrigating solution to rinse out your pet’s eyes if your notice any squinting or redness.
  • Try using an over-the-counter topical lubricating drop (such as Genteal gel, Refresh pm, Blink, and Systane) after a long day at the beach to help soothe your pet’s irritated eyes.
  • If your pet is used to spending most of their time indoors, a sudden change in the amount of time spent outdoors during the summer can occasionally cause a flare-up of allergies (both systemic and ocular). Ocular signs of allergies can include increased redness, itchiness, pawing at the eyes and increased discharge from the eyes. Use one of the lubricating drops mentioned above, or try an over-the-counter topical antihistamine drop such as Zaditor, Allaway, Naphcon-A, or Claritin-eye to temporarily alleviate your pet’s discomfort.
  • Finally, and this is very important, if your pet does not get better after 1-2 days of trying these at-home remedies, seek urgent veterinary care from either your local family veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist, as eye conditions can progress very rapidly.

If an issue arises and you need help, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 757-749-4838.