When owning a German Shepherd, you’ve likely Googled many things that you never thought you would, like eye boogers.
While they may not be one of the most pleasant topics, it is important to educate yourself correctly on German Shepherd’s eye boogers.
You will want to get used to knowing what’s correct for your dog, so you know when you may need to seek veterinary attention if anything were to change.
In this article, we will be talking through everything you need to know about eye boogers. We have covered topics such as why eye boogers exist, and which ones you need to keep a closer eye on.
What Are Dog Eye Boogers?
When thinking about dog eye boogers, they are not too dissimilar to what we experience as humans. In fact, they serve a very similar purpose.
When it comes to the gunky stuff that you will find in the corner of your dog’s eye, this is what we refer to as eye boogers.
Eye boogers are typically nothing to be concerned about, and they are perfectly normal and natural. They can come in a variety of different colors, volumes and consistency.
Eye boogers are secretions that come from the eye, in the same way as nose boogers.
Thousands of different animals will experience eye boogers, and in the vast majority of cases they are normal and nothing to be concerned about.
You will want to get used to knowing what’s normal and what isn’t.
How Many Types of Eye Boogers Are There?
As we have already touched upon, there are many types of eye boogers. As a result, it is useful for you to know the differences between each to determine why these eye secretions are happening.
Some of the most common types of eye boogers are brown, watery, goopy, crusty, and mucousy. However, if you notice green or yellow discharge, this can be a sign of infection.
If there are issues present, you will notice that the eye boogers will be odorous, causing discomfort for the German Shepherd, and they will be persistent too.
Why Do Dogs Have Eye Boogers?
As we have already touched upon, there are many reasons why dogs get eye boogers.
Just like us humans, dog’s will have eye boogers after sleeping, and they will generally gather in the corner of their eyes throughout the day.
As eye boogers are excretions, they help to ensure that their eyes are nice and clean.
In general, even in healthy dogs, these eye boogers will be present, and the goopy and crusty ones are not typically anything to be concerned about.
If the dog’s eye has an irritation this can cause excess tears and mucus to be formed, and infections can also increase the amount of eye boogers produced.
German shepherds can also experience tear stains on their fur, but due to their darker fur, this is not typically as noticeable.
Common Causes Of Eye Boogers
There are many reasons why your German Shepherd may be experiencing eye boogers. In this section of the article, we will be discussing some of the most common causes.
These causes are in addition to the natural causes of eye boogers.
If there is dirt present in a German Shepherd’s eye, this will typically cause there to be more tears produced. When these tears dry in the corner of the dog’s eye, they create eye boogers.
If there is dirt, dust, or sand for example, present in the eye boogers, then this means that the eyes are doing a great job at keeping themselves lubricated and clean.
When there is an infection in a dog’s eye, this will cause eye boogers to change in color and they can often have an odor.
If there is an infection present, then you may notice thicker eye boogers, and pus too. This type of eye booger is persistent and will return even if you are bathing and cleaning the eye regularly.
It is rather easy to spot these types of eye boogers, and there will be an excessive amount. In these cases, you will want to take your dog to your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
If the infection is left for too long, this can cause more damage and discomfort to your German Shepherd’s eye.
In addition to this, if the infection is contagious, it can be passed on to the healthy eye or other animals in the household too.
This is why it is so important to ensure that you have the eye checked professionally. Typically, the dog can receive eye drops from the vet to help clear the infection.
Another common reason for eye boogers is allergies.
If your dog is allergic to things like dust, dust mites, pollen, or grass, this can cause an increase in eye boogers, as their body is trying to rid the eyes of the allergen.
The color of the boogers linked to allergens does vary depending on the type of allergy present.
While they could cause watery clear boogers, they could also be white and goopy too. You may notice that there are a lot of boogers present, alternatively, there may only be a slight increase.
If the allergy persists and the eye boogers do not clear, we would recommend visiting your local veterinarian.
There are treatments available that can be given for allergies, such as antihistamines. These will help to clear the excess boogers and prevent the discomfort your German Shepherd is likely experiencing.
Irritation is another common cause of eye boogers. This is similar to when dirt or sand will get stuck in your dog’s eye.
When something is stuck in the eye, if it is not removed it will cause irritation. If, for example, your dog is pawing at its eye, this can make the irritation worse.
Anything that is irritating the eye needs to be removed as quickly as possible to ensure that no damage is done to the surface of the eye.
The irritation could be caused because of a wide variety of different issues, even something as simple as an eyelash that is facing towards the eye.
Irritations cause discomfort and if left in the eye can lead to wider issues.
A common side effect of irritation is conjunctivitis. This is something you are likely familiar with, and it will cause the eye to be painful.
In addition to this, the eyes will become quite irritated for your German Shepherd. It is fairly common, and even a small irritation can cause it to occur.
In the vast majority of cases, conjunctivitis is easily treatable, and once your dog has eye drops, this will treat the problem.
In addition to irritation, injury can also cause eye boogers. In comparison to a small irritation, injury is far more serious.
This usually happens if the eye itself has been damaged. This could be due to a number of reasons, some more serious than others.
Due to the eye trying to heal itself, it will create more tears than normal which will lead to an increase in eye boogers. If an infection occurs as a result of the injury, this is another cause too.
If you suspect that there is damage caused to the eye, you will need to visit the vet urgently so that your German Shepherd can be treated quickly and efficiently.
Given that it is the tear ducts that produce tears, which then lead to eye boogers, these are a common reason why your dog will have eye boogers.
Tear ducts will produce tears naturally to help keep the eye lubricated and clean, this is completely normal.
However, if excess tears are being created, then this can cause more eye boogers than normal.
In addition to this, it may be a sign that there is a problem with the tear ducts themselves. If the tear ducts are overactive or are creating more tears than necessary, this is called epiphora.
Epiphora is surprisingly common in dogs, and the side effects can vary from mild to severe. In the vast majority of cases, it is nothing to be too concerned about.
When looking at the fur color of German Shepherds, as the fur around their eyes is darker, it is unlikely you will notice this happening.
It is typically white furred dogs that it is more noticeable with. This is because the excess tears and boogers will stain lighter fur a dark brown color.
This is due to the fluid reacting to the oxygen in the air, which then leads to the staining.
However, while you may not notice the staining, you may notice an odor. It is not overly pleasant, and is typically a sign that the tear ducts are producing too many tears.
While this is usually caused by the ducts not working correctly, it can be caused by them not forming correctly when the German Shepherd was a puppy.
If this is something you are concerned about, we would recommend speaking with your local veterinarian.
Diseases and Health Issues
In addition to the other types of illnesses we have covered above, there are many other health issues that can lead to eye boogers too.
This is why it is so important to keep an eye on anything that is abnormal for your dog.
This will help you to seek treatment as quickly as possible if any problems do occur.
While eye diseases are not too common with German Shepherds, they still can be contracted over time, and eye boogers are a typical side effect of this.
With diseases, the eye boogers that are created will typically be thick, gunky, and not a typical color. You will be able to notice the differences easily.
A type of disease that the German Shepherd can have is Pannus. This is a serious condition and will cause the eyesight to become impaired.
It is painful and something that needs to be diagnosed. It requires ongoing treatment.
What Are The Different Types Of Eye Boogers?
While this is something we have covered slightly, let’s take a closer look at the different and most common types of eye boogers that you may come across.
Crusty eye boogers are common and are something that you typically do not need to worry about. They are typically caused by the tears from the eyes drying in the corner of the eyes.
They show that the eye is cleaning itself correctly, and are not typically anything to worry about.
Goopy eye boogers are similar to ones that are crusty. These are usually what crusty eye boogers are before they dry.
If the consistency is normal, and there is not an excessive amount, this is normal.
The tears when mixed with oils and dirt from the eye can cause these boogers to be slightly brown, which is nothing to be concerned about.
If the eye boogers are particularly runny, this is linked to the tear production. Too much of this type of discharge means that the eye is producing too many tears.
Mucousy eye boogers can be a sign of infection, especially if they are yellow or green.
However, if the eye boogers are clear or white with this consistency, this means that the eyes are producing more tears to lubricate the eye.
If this persists, your German Shepherd may be suffering from dry eyes, which can be diagnosed by a veterinarian.
Tears will cause the fur around the eyes to turn brown when the tears are exposed to oxygen. This is typically nothing to worry about, but it does not always look pleasant.
If there is pus in the eye boogers, or if they are green or yellow, this is a sign of infection. You will need to get this checked over, as it can be a sign of an underlying health problem.
How To Determine Your German Shepherd’s Eye Boogers
You will need to get used to what is normal for your dog. Every dog is different and will produce slightly different eye boogers.
This is why it is important to be familiar with your dog so that you can keep an eye out for any signs or changes.
Here are some things you will want to monitor regularly:
The color of the eye boogers can tell you a lot about the health of the eye. If the color is different, or the eye looks infected, this is usually a sign that your dog needs veterinary attention.
Keep an eye on the texture of the eye boogers. There are a number of different types of consistency, such as goopy, crusty, watery, and mucousy.
The consistency can help you to determine what your German Shepherd’s eye boogers mean.
The amount of eye boogers your dog is producing is important to keep an eye on. If your dog is producing more or less than normal, this could be a sign of an underlying issue.
If you are consistently cleaning your dog’s eyes, this is not a normal rate.
The odor of the eye boogers is important to note. Really there should not be an odor to them.
While tear stains can often have an odor, in general, an odor typically means that there is an infection present.
Finally, you will want to keep a close eye on your dog’s eyes in general. If they look red, swollen or painful along with the discharge, this is a sign that something is not right.
In addition to this, if your dog is scratching at its eyes, there could be a health problem that needs to be addressed.
How To Clean Eye Boogers
When you are cleaning the eye boogers, ensure you are using a product that is safe. We would recommend either using eye wipes, or a cotton pad with warm water.
You will want to wipe both eyes separately. This will help to stop any potential infection from transferring, and this will keep both eyes as clean as possible.
There are many reasons why your German Shepherd will experience eye boogers. While the majority of eye boogers are nothing to worry about, often they can be a sign of infection.
If you have any questions or concerns, we would recommend chatting to your local veterinarian.