Dog tears and senior years

Dog tears and senior years

You ask – we answer:

Q: I have an 8-month-old yellow lab who has developed a reddish line from his right eye. I have seen it before on light-colored dogs and I believe it’s discoloration from their tears. Is there any way to treat it?

A: The discoloration (or “reddish line”) noted from dogs’ eyes are caused by porphyrin, a compound secreted by a gland just under the third eyelid (porphyrin is also present in saliva, which explains the discoloration noted on the paws of light-colored dogs who lick their feet a lot). It is not abnormal and really can’t “go away,” but there are many commercial products available that can help to clear it up.

If your dog is having a more prominent discharge from one particular eye, this can indicate either eye irritation, injury, or even a clogged tear duct. A visit to your veterinarian to rule this out.

Q: After 13 years, my keeshond mix has decided it’s OK — even preferable — to urinate inside the house. He doesn’t respond to scolding. In the last few months, he’s lost his mind. His personality has changed, and he often will stare into a corner blankly. He never barks anymore. He will only lay down on his bed (never on the porch or in another room). He has a hard time walking on our hardwood floors. It’s become very sad and extremely frustrating. Can he be retrained to pee outside? What’s happened to him so suddenly?

A: The symptoms you are describing are much more significant than a dog who is no longer housebroken. Senior dogs can have lots of issues that cause such behavioral changes, including urinary or kidney infections, kidney disease, endocrine (glandular) diseases, joint (or other) pain, or uroliths (urinary bladder stones) to name a few. Older dogs also can suffer from cognitive disorders (similar to Alzheimer’s), or senility. This will cause abrupt changes in attitude.

A complete diagnostic workup from your veterinarian is in order to determine the cause and to help find any possible solutions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *