Basic first aid for eye injuries
Object in the eye:
Our eyes are so important to us, whether we are humans, dogs or another species entirely. For this reason, any “messing about” with eyeballs causes extreme fear and wariness and so before you start trying to help, please think about your own physical safety and the possibility of getting bitten.
Have an assistant steady the dog’s head firmly for you. Reassure the dog in a calm and sensible manner (remembering that they often take their cues with regards to their behaviour and emotional state from us) and use a muzzle or tie the nose if necessary, for safety.
* Create a loop and pop it over the dogs nose, pulling the loop to close the mouth.
* Bring the long ends down and cross them over under the chin.
* Take the long ends around and fasten them at the back of the neck.
* For short-nosed breeds, do exactly as above but also connect the nose band to the strap at the back of the head to ensure the dog cannot get it off.
Once the muzzle is safely in place, with one hand, part the eyelids and use the fingers of the other hand to remove the object, if this can be done easily and if it is NOT actually piercing the eyeball itself.
Objects in the corner of the eye may be easier to remove if wiped out using a moistened piece of cotton or gauze.
It may be possible to remove the object by irrigating the eye with tepid saline (salt water) solution. Tilt the dog’s head towards the injured side and gently pour the water or saline into the eye at the corner of the bridge of the nose. Allow the water to wash across the front of the eye taking any dust or contaminents away so that it runs down the side of his face and not into his uninjured eye.
Liquid, dust or fine material in the eye needs to be flushed repeatedly with large amounts of saline (salt water) or water. Using a syringe or eye dropper will make this easier. If the eyelids are swollen, or there are bites or stings around the eye, bathe the eyelids in COOL saline or water. Do not allow the dog to paw or rub the face.
If you cannot remove the object, ensure the dog doesn’t rub its face or paw the eye while you seek veterinary help.