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Dog has a runny eye.

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 5-8 years
Hi Marie! Aprox. 2 months ago, Hope's one eye started to water and run a clear liquid. The hair all around the eye has darkened. We took her to a vet in Arnprior and spent $80. to have her checked over. The vet said both eyes were fine and her only advice was to use eye drops like we use.
I did that, but the eye has continued to run on and off. Some days it's dry, and other days it runs, but the colour around the eye remains dark.
She has also had hot spots lately, but we're mamaging to keep that under control. Ned's arthritis has been acting up. Is it possible to get him a prescription for Metacam without having to take him in for a assesment. I've been giving him glucosamine, but I'd like to try some arthritus medication on him. How expensive is it, and is it realatively safe? Hope is now 7 and Ned is 9. He still wants to play, but it is hard on him if he overdoes it. Thanks! Margie


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there Margie! Thanks for using my website!

It's not uncommon to see a dog have a runny eye and often we don't know why. I generally don't get worried as long as the eye is not red, inflamed or bothersome and as long as there is no green or yellow discharge.

The cause can sometimes be a blocked tear duct. When this happens then tears that are supposed to be drawn out of the eye through the duct end up spilling out of the eye. If I have a dog with this problem I will sometimes try flushing the tear duct but this is something that needs to be done under an anesthetic and it is not always successful.

Some Goldens will have runny eyes because of a condition called entropion where the skin around the eye curls in and hairs irritate the eye. But again, I don't usually treat this unless the eye is really sore (i.e. squinting and redness). The treatment is a plastic surgery to stop the skin from rolling into the eye.

The dark colour you are seeing is the result of tears staining the fur. I usually recommend a product called optixcare for this. It is not prescription and if the vet in Arnprior doesn't carry it they can order it for you. It's not terribly expensive. I usually recommend using it to wash the area every day or two.

Regarding Ned...Metacam is prescription and he would need to have an exam done in order to get it. It is possible that if he has had an exam in the last year your vet may prescribe it, but usually we need to do an exam first. It is generally a safe medicine but if there is an issue with the liver or kidneys then it can make that worse, so usually we like to do some bloodwork before starting and again a few weeks into treatment. Most dogs that start on Metacam see a great improvement in arthritis.

If you do decide to put Ned on a medication like Metacam you can ask your vet about Previcox. It is very similar in effect and safety but it is less expensive. I don't know the exact price but for a 80 lb dog you may be looking at about $50-$65 per month for Previcox and about $80 or more for Metacam.

Regarding the glucosamine, keep it up...it usually helps. A dog of Ned's size can have 3 x 500mg per day.

I hope that helps! You know you can always send me an email or a message on facebook if you have questions.

You can also reply to this question using the button on this page...it gets emailed to me and I see it on my blackberry immediately.

Bless you!
Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

THANKS Abunch! I'll save up to have Ned checked. Happy New year! love you, Margie


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're welcome Margie! Bless you guys! Say hi to Kenny for us!

Related question: Possible stye on dog's eye




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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.