He may not go blind, but your hunting dog will not perform at his best, if at all, when something lodges in his eye. You’re the one with opposable thumbs, so it’s up to you to get it out safely. If you see your dog pawing or scratching at his eye, rubbing his face on the ground or furniture, or he’s blinking a lot, you see a swollen-looking lid or odd lump under eyelid, it’s time to act.

First Aid Steps

  1. Gently pull lower and upper eyelids up or down and examine the eyeball.
  2. Carefully squirt distilled water from the outer corner toward the inner corner of the lower eyelid to wash away the gunk. This should move out most seeds and dirt. On the upper eyelid, you’ll likely have to use a cotton swab – see below.
  3. If distilled water doesn’t work, tease a few fibers (keep attached) from a cotton swab and slowly sweep from the outside to the inside of the eye, with a twirling motion to catch the objects.

If the dog continues to exhibit symptoms after you’ve removed all the foreign matter, see a vet.

Something may be lodged under the pink tissue behind the lower lid (the “third eyelid” or nictating membrane), and the eyeball or cornea may be scratched or cut.

Be careful what you put in his eye after you remove the bad stuff. A scratched cornea will be adversely affected by antiseptic ointments containing steroids. A veterinarian should look at any eye injury prior to putting ointment in it.

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