Updated: Jan 16
Eye Proptosis is a condition where a dog's eye pops out of its socket. All dog breeds are susceptible to this type of condition, but it’s far more common in dogs that have protruding eyes or squished faces like Pugs, Shih-Tzu, Pekingese, and French Bulldogs.
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Proptosis can be the result of a fight, running into something, or their skin being pulled back too far. So if your dog is prone to eye proptosis walk them using a harness to minimize the pulling of the skin, especially if your dog tends to pull on the leash.
Understand that there is a high chance that your dog could lose their eyesight and possibly their eye itself. They will need to get medical attention as soon as possible. You will need to transport them to a vet's office safely. Hopefully, you have a pet first aid kit so you can administer first aid prior to transporting your dog to prevent further damage to the eye. Most items needed can be found in a human's first aid kit as well.
I am certified in pet first aid and CPR but I am not a veterinarian. Always consult with your veterinarian during emergency situations. These are just my recommendations based on what I have learned in multiple CPR and pet first aid classes.
Protect The Injured Eye
1. Saline Solution and Salin Soaked Gauze Pad: Rinse the eye with saline solution. Pour the saline solution on a gauze pad. If you don't have any saline solution use water. The reason you need to wet the gauze pad with water or saline solution is so your gauze pad doesn't stick to their eye causing further damage. Once you have wet the gauze pad you are going to wrap their head with gauze. See step two for further instructions.
2. Eye Bandage In order to protect your dog's eye from further damage, you need to wrap it with gauze so the moist pad stays in place until veterinary care can be administered. If you want to know how to properly wrap an eye injury watch the video below provided by the Walnut Creek Animal Hospital. This video is short and to the point. *Do not remove the pad to moisten the eye.
3. Head To The Nearest Vet: Once you have wrapped your dog's eye, head straight to the nearest vet or emergency animal clinic. Call them and explain what has happened so they know the severity of the situation and that you are on your way. *If possible have your dog wear a cone to prevent them from scratching at the injured eye and if they are small enough place them in a crate so it's easier to transport them.
If your dog will not allow you to bandage their eye call your vet and ask them for suggestions in regards to transporting them safely without an eye bandage.
It's always a good idea to keep a first aid kit for your dog nearby. When I go out on hikes with my dog I keep one in my backpack. You can either buy a premade kit that is designed specifically for pets or you can make your own pet first aid kit. Make sure the kit has a saline solution, gauze pad, and gauze, especially if your dog is prone to Eye Proptosis. If your dog's eye does pop out, please contact an emergency vet as soon as possible and let them know what happened so they can take your dog in as quickly as possible when you arrive. If your dog is prone to eye proptosis talk to your vet about preventative measures that you can take to keep your dog happy and healthy in regards to genetically pron eye injuries and conditions.
If you found this material to be informative check out How To Train Your Dog To Stop Pulling On Leash