While dogs are known to be highly emotional animals, is it true that they actually cry out of fear, happiness, anger, sadness, and joy, aside from the usual health conditions that cause their watery eyes?
Read on to find out.
Tears That Result from Reflex Actions
Reflex tears are often caused by physical or emotional stimuli, like: cold air, stress, anxiety, excitement, fear, sadness, laughter and pain.
When your Chihuahua is playing in the park or garden, chances are that he may have come in contact with dust, fur, and other allergens.
To deal with all of these allergens, his eyes will have to secrete a thin layer of fluid (which we normally call “tears”) to keep them clean and lubricated.
This is how your Chihuahua gets watery eyes.
As more “fluid” is produced to clean up his eyes, tears may begin falling down his cheeks.
Even a strong gust of cold wind on your dog’s face or the joy of seeing you again (excitement) can also cause him to cry reflexively.
Your Chihuahua may cry a lot if he is stressed out and, of course, reflex tears can also occur without any reason at all.
Tearing of this type will not result in redness or picking at his eyes. In fact, he will not even be aware that it is happening. This is part of the eye’s natural response.
Epiphora Is the Culprit
Epiphora refers to the excess of tears as a consequence of high tear production or poor drainage.
Chihuahuas are especially susceptible to this eye tearing condition because they have big eyes.
Simply put, they are prone to tears and watery eyes. This condition can range in severity from mild to severe.
In most cases, epiphora happens because there’s a buildup of the tear film from the eyes. It’s most commonly caused by a blocked nasolacrimal duct or a deformed eyelid. Occasionally, epiphora occurs as a result of excessive tear production in the eyes.
The signs and symptoms of epiphora are as follows:
Epiphora is characterized by excess moisture beneath the eyes, a pinkish brown stain beneath the eyes, a weird odor, and itchiness.
Dog owners report that they can see tears rolling down the face of their pet, and their pet’s coat is always wet.
What is the treatment for epiphora?
Treatment for epiphora varies according to the underlying factor. For instance: it may be as simple as modifying the diet, administering an antihistamine (to treat allergies), using medicated drops, or taking antibiotics (in case of infection).
In some cases, there can also be more drastic measures, such as surgical procedures or electrolysis.
In the case of a blocked nasolacrimal duct, surgical operation will be needed. Anesthesia will be administered to your dog before a special instrument is inserted into the duct to remove anything in there.
Sometimes the dog’s lacrimal puncta or opening might not have opened during his growth, in which case, this can be surgically corrected.
If the ducts are narrow as a result of chronic infections or allergies, flushing can help to widen them, thereby allowing them to function properly again.
Cherry Eye Makes Your Dog’s Eyes Look Watery
Cherry Eye is caused by swelling and irritation of the third eyelid. This will result in a red bump on the outside or inside corner of the eye.
In addition, the eye itself may appear red. There is often tearing associated with this condition.
Cherry eyes are generally in a fairly visible condition. You will notice a rosy-pink rounded bump protruding from the inner corner of your dog’s eye.
In addition to the redness and inflammation in the eye, you may observe glassiness and wateriness, mucus or discharge in his eye.
Do dog’s cherry eyes go away on their own?
Probably not and, in most cases, surgery is needed.
Nonetheless, if you bring your dog to see a veterinarian early enough, he or she may prescribe a treatment approach that addresses the inflammation first and there might be chances that the swelling will subside, and the third eyelid will heal itself.
What causes cherry eyes in dogs?
Dogs under a year old are more likely to get cherry eyes. This condition arises as a result of a strained or broken ligament that holds the gland to the third eyelid.
Vets aren’t sure why this happens, but the only way to fix it is usually surgery.
Watery Eyes Can Also Be a Sign of Congenital Glaucoma
A rise in intraocular pressure causes glaucoma.
Within the eye, cells secrete a watery fluid (called aqueous humor) to keep the tissues hydrated and in shape.
Normal pressure within the eye can be maintained when these fluids drain properly into the bloodstream.
But when they fail to do so, fluid will start to build up and lead to Glaucoma.
Most Chihuahuas suffer from this age-related condition where their eyes tear up as a result of internal pressure.
This will result in excessive watering and tearing in their eyes.
Dogs with glaucoma can suffer damage to their optic nerves and retinas which, if left untreated, can result in their blindness.
It is possible to relieve pain with medicated eye drops and to reduce both inflammation and pressure within the eyes with these medications.
Should the pressure remain high, surgical removal of the eyeball may be necessary.
Acute Injuries to the Eyes
When your dog’s eye is injured, more tears will be shed in that area. It is also common for tears to form if he has sustained facial injuries as well.
The facial injury could be something as innocuous as a bee sting or minor graze or a more severe eye injury like a corneal scratch or something serious that needs surgery in order to recover.
There are several conditions that can cause dogs to tear up unnecessarily, including brain and nerve injuries.
If you notice your dog’s eyes are watering unnecessarily, visit the vet so that they can assess the situation and rule out other causes such as a foreign substance in the eye, a retinal tear or detachment.
The vet will examine his eyes with an ophthalmoscope and take samples of any fluid that might be present in the eye (like blood) and check for any swelling around the eye.
If your dog has sustained a serious injury to his eye, he may need surgery to repair it.
Inflammation of the Conjunctiva Causing Watery Eyes
Commonly known as “red eye”, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the inner surface of the eye.
Conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies, injuries, birth defects, obstructions of the tear ducts, the presence of foreign objects in the eye, a bacterial infection, or even a tumor.
In both cases, the symptoms include watery eyes, redness, itching, and sometimes discharge from the eye.
One eye may be affected at first, but usually both eyes will be affected after a while.