Why are my dog's eyes goopy?

Why are my dog’s eyes goopy?


            When answering this question, I need to ask a question of my own— What breed is your dog?  Certain breeds of dogs are known for having a‘normally’  increased eye discharge. Rottweilers and English Bulldogs have more goopy eye discharge and small breed dogs such as Toy Poodles and Chihuahuas often have a brownish or clear discharge. This may be normal. If your dog’s eyes have suddenly started producing more goopy tears, then there is most likely a problem we need to figure out!


            Breed Predisposition?:  When we see this type of discharge in certain breeds, it might not be a health issue— as long as the dog seems comfortable (not blinking or squinting a lot) and the white of his eyes aren’t really irritated (bloodshot.)


            There are also certain breeds that are known for having extra skin folds under the eyes (English Bulldog and Shar Pei, for example), and this may cause the eyelids to swell and rotate inward— resulting in the eyelashes rubbing directly on the eye. This may be a very serious problem that can result in corneal ulcer and even blindness if not addressed quickly and correctly.


            Environmental Causes:If your dog is blinking and squinting a lot, or his eyes or eyelids are red and inflamed, then he probably has a problem we need to treat. Sometimes eye problems just occur in one eye, and other times they may occur in both.


            Exposure to wind, dust, smoke or hanging his head out the car window mayirritate a dog’s eyes.  So, if your dog’s eyes seem extra irritated, it’s time to ask “What could be causing it?”


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            In these cases, there may be enough swelling of the eye’s normal drainage pipeline (the nasolacrimal duct), that the tears cannot drain into the nose as they’re supposed to.  The use of ear flushes and anti-inflammatory ointments can be quite helpful.


            Allergies.  You don’t have to have allergies to react when the air quality is poor. If you do have allergies . . . well, you’re going to probalby have dry, itchy and irritated eyes on bad days. The same is true for dogs.  During peak Hay Fever season, the air quality also tends to decrease— there is often more dust and other irritants (including allergens and pollen) in the air.


            Dry Eye.Some dogs may develop an abnormally dry eye for a number of reasons. Dry eye is always a surprising diagnosis for the owner, because a “dry eye” is actually extra goopy!  In these cases, the eye has stopped producing the watery tears that provide nutrition to the eye and isover-producing mucous tears to compensate.  Some cases have Dry Eye have underlying causes such as Underactive Thyroid Gland, Drug Reaction and Allergies.  Once correctly identified, these conditions are treatable!


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            Serious Infections.Eye problems are not something to be trifled with. The clear part of the eye (the cornea) does not have a healing blood supply, so an eye problem can go from mild to vision threatening very quickly.  Glaucoma, eyelid tumors and other abnormal conditions of the eye need to be identified and treated quickly for optimal results.

            Don’t mess with the eye!  Even if your pet’s problem isn’t serious, it is still irritating and may even be painful. Remember, pet’s don’t display pain as readily as people do. If your pet is showing even mild signs of an eye issue, it may be a major problem.  


This is not a complete list of possible eye problems!  Whole textbooks are dedicated to the eye.

by Dr. Jon Klingborg, DVM




Valley Animal Hospital of Merced & 5 Star Yelp Reviews!

VAH is is proud to "howl" about our great reviews!

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Every day, Valley Animal Hospital pledges to provide “5 Star Service” to our clients and their pets!

It looks like we’re living up to that pledge, because Valley Animal Hospital of Merced has been voted “Best Veterinary Hospital” for the past 3 years (2016, 2017, 2018.)

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Valley Animal Hospital has earned 4.8 Stars on FaceBook and 4.7 Stars on Google Reviews!

Unfortunately, Yelp! has chosen to “filter” Fifty Seven (57) of our Five-Star Reviews, which means that 57 Yelp User’s votes DID NOT COUNT toward our Star Rating.

Why doesn’t every vote count, Yelp?

(BTW- every vote counts on Google Reviews & FaceBook— just sayin’)

Furthermore, Yelp! has not counted any of the eleven Five-Star Reviews we received in 2018!?

What’s up with that, Yelp?

Well, at VAH, we believe that democracy works best when every vote counts, so here are those ‘filtered’ (i.e. “Yelp censored”) reviews going back to 2015.

VAH is proud to “howl” about our great reviews. Valley Animal Hospital of Merced says “Thank You” to our fantastic clients for your kind words.

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The Dog Who Wouldn’t Eat

            When we heard that Yummers was refusing to eat, everyone in the clinic got worried.  It was with relief and confusion that we saw Yummers bound into the clinic—as plump as ever.  For a dog that wasn’t eating, Yummers appear to have plenty of meals ‘stored’ away.


            “This is just terrible,” said his worried owner.  “He hasn’t eaten anything in two days.”  The round dog sat up and started begging as the owner spoke.  I ignored his not-so-subtle glances toward the Treat Jar.  Deciding that I must be stupid, Yummers gave up and jumped in his owner’s lap.  She let out an audible “ugh” as Yummers landed—he is a “stout” little fellow.

            “So, Yummers isn’t eating?” 

            “He refuses to eat his new dog food, unless I ‘flavor’ it with a little chicken, beef, lunch meat, water, or milk.  Sometimes, for variety, I’ll add cheese, too.”

            “How long ago did you change to the new dog food?”

            “Six months ago.”

            “Have you considered that maybe he should just eat dog food—and dog food only. After all, those extra flavors your adding are making him---“

            “—big boned,” interrupted his owner.  “Yummers isn’t fat, because I only feed him once a day.”

            “Even once-a-day eaters can get fat—especially if they don’t burn any calories in between meals.  What does Yummers do, besides eating, I mean?” 

            “Wait for snack time.”

            “Do you take him for a walk?  Does he play?”

            “No, Yummers doesn’t like walking or playing.”

            This was not a medical mystery, Yummers was too fat to comfortably walk or play. Unfortunately, eating had become the fat dog’s only source of entertainment. 

            The owner continued, “I don’t want him to starve.”


          “Do you really, really think that Yummers will starve if you don’t put some extra ‘flavor’ in his food?”

            “Oh, I’ve tried. For two days, I’ve given him nothing but dog food, and for two days, he won’t eat.  Besides, he stares at me and makes me feel guilty if he doesn’t like the flavor of his food.”

            “Let me ask you again. If Yummers had a choice—eat dog food or starve to death, do you really think he’d choose starvation?”

            “Well . . . probably not. But he won’t eat dog food.”

            “Yummers has trained you to feed him people food.  He knows that after two days you’ll give in to his demands.  This plump little dog has you wrapped around his plump little paw.”

            The owner looked embarrassed when she realized this was the truth.  “But if I don’t feed him what he wants, then he’ll think I don’t love him.”

            “Not true. Yummers is just trying to get the tastiest food possible. If he no longer has a choice between dog food or all of the extra “flavors” that you add, then he’ll gradually adjust.  If you really love Yummers and you want him to live a long and healthy life, then you need to change his eating habits now. Starting today.”


            “I do love him and I do want him to live a long time,” said the owner.

            “Then are you ready to do what it takes?”

            The owner thought for a moment of how her life would be without Yummers.  Then she nodded resolutely, “Just tell me what to do.”

            In the end, Yummers’ transition from people food to dog food really wasn’t that difficult.  Yummers still got to cheat with occasional vegetables and fruit, but he didn’t get any more meat, chicken, milk, cheese, potato chips, etc.

            As Yummers lost weight, he became more playful and enjoyed going for walks again. Yummers’ happiness was no longer measured by the fullness of his dish.  Instead, a slimmer and more energetic Yummers got to go places and do fun things with his favorite person.  Now that’s a happy ending!


About Valley Animal Hospital of Merced

 Valley Animal Hospital of Merced is a full-service animal hospital that offers pets ‘preventative care’ and vaccines, spaying & neutering, soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, chemotherapy, ultrasound and radiology, in-house laboratory, pet lodging and care, an online discount pharmacy, and so much more!

    We make our patients and clients comfortable with a beautiful veterinary facility. Our doctors will give you straightforward answers and we offer a number of resources that enable you to learn about how to take better care of your pets. 

     Valley Animal Hospital is the only veterinary clinic in the Greater Merced area that offers a Loyalty Program-- our clients earn "Rover Rewards" (2 points for every $1 spent) and those points may be redeemed for $$$ off of services or products, a FREE night boarding or even a free Office Exam.

    98% of our clients recommend us to their friends and family, which is why we have a 4.8 stars (out of 5) rating on Google Reviews and FaceBook!

    Please call us today to get started on a lifetime of wellness care for your pet-- 209.384.7387.


Jon Klingborg, DVM

Christine B. McFadden, DVM

Adam Lauppe, DVM

What's Included in a Spay or Neuter surgery at Valley Animal Hospital of Merced?

At Valley Animal Hospital of Merced, our Spays & Neuters include:

1) Physical Exam before Surgery 

2) Pre-Surgery Blood Work to check for signs of hidden diseases, anemia or other problems that might increase the risk of surgery.  

3) Pain medication is given before we've even started surgery!  Studies have shown that going a dose of pain medication prior to surgery reduced the overall post-surgery pain that an animal feels.  

4) A surgery nurse monitors every patient with a Pulse Oximeter (blood oxygen concentration and heart rate.)

5) Pain medication is given during surgery while your pet is still asleep.  

6) The fee includes the surgery which is performed by the Doctor (of course!)

7) Pain medication after surgery.  For dogs, this is usually three days of a once or twice a day pill.  For cats, we usually give a long acting pain injection that lasts for 3 days.  

8) Pets go home the same day as the surgery. No overnight stays needed because pets recover more quickly in their own homes.  

9) We use all "absorbable" sutures that will dissolve away on their own. You and your pet won't be inconvenienced by another trip to the vet just to get the stitches out.  

10) Spay and Neuter surgeries qualify for our Loyalty Rewards Program. If you enroll in the program, you'll earn 5% of the total cost toward you next visit!

For Dogs:  Our prices range from $150* to $195*-- it depends on the size and gender of your dog, because bigger dogs require more anesthesia and pain medication and a spay surgery (females) is more complicated than a neuter (for males.) 

For Cats: Our prices range from $105* to $140* depending on the gender of your cat.  

*There are additional fees for females that are pregnant, in heat or lactating (breast feeding).

*We will charge $15 -$20 for a flea treatment (that lasts 30 days) if your pet has numerous fleas-- because we don't want any of our patients to go home with fleas!


Please call if you need more information or to schedule your pet's surgery  

(209) 384-7387

Note:  Spay & Neuter surgeries provided through discounted programs such as New Beginnings for Animals or  Merced County SNAP program do not include blood work or post-operative pain medication. However, you may purchase these services for a small fee! Discounted Spay/Neuter and other procedures performed during a discounted spay/neuter do not qualify for our Loyalty Rewards Program.


More Facts about Spay and Neuter
The Spay and Neuter services provided by Valley Animal Hospital of Merced are permanent birth control against unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. 

Spaying: Ovariohysterectomy of females: Did you know that statistically  25% of female dogs will develop malignant breast cancer if they aren't spayed?

The research is clear--- dogs that are spayed or neutered are less likely to develop cancer, run away & get lost, or have behavior problems.  

Animal birth control is a plus in a nation where only 1 in 5 puppies or kittens are expected to find permanent homes – if you love your pet, have her spayed by 6 months of age or as soon as her planned breeding has completed.

Neutering, for male dogs and cats, has additional benefits as well, as it has been proven to prevent testicular cancer and infections or cancer of the prostate in males. If you have questions about our spay and neuter services, we would be happy to answer them for you and schedule a visit for your pet.

We cooperate with several local area Rescue groups and participate in the Merced County Animal Control sponsored Spay Program to provide reduced-fee spay and neuter surgeries for families of need.