How Do I Clean Around My Pet’s Eyes?

  • In most cases, it is safe to use a cotton ball or tissue, dampened with warm water, to loosen the mucus and debris that collects around the eye from time to time.
  • Avoid getting soap of any kind into the eye as it is painful and can cause corneal ulcerations.  Avoid cleaning materials, alcohol, peroxide and other chemicals as many of them can cause serious damage.
  • To flush the inside the eye, to get rid of dust or sand or other debris, it is best to purchase “isotonic buffered saline” or Eye Wash, from your veterinarian, a veterinary ophthalmology clinic or a local pharmacy. This is an over-the-counter preparation that is used in people to flush the eye.  You can safely flush your pet’s eyes with this type of solution.  Ask your pharmacist to recommend a product.
  • Use of Eye Wash:  Start with just a few drops to get your pet used to the idea, and then you can flush with a gentle stream of fluid. Avoid creating a hard spray that directly hits the cornea (a very sensitive tissue), if your pet allows you to use a gentle stream to flush, aim towards the space between the eye and the lower eyelid or the white part of the eye as these are less sensitive tissues.
  • If the discharge is thick and looks like pus, it is important to call your veterinarian right away, especially if this is a recent change.  Antibiotics may be helpful in controlling or resolving the discharge and certain serious eye conditions, like dry eye, can cause a severe ocular discharge.
  • Always avoid having the tip of the bottle (of this or any eye medication) touch the eyelid or the eye itself.