Why do Poodles Get Eye Boogers: Mystery Solved

Full-sized, miniature or teacup, poodles are fantastic dogs. While it’s a myth that they don’t shed, poodles are unique because they grow hair, not fur. Hence their coats don’t change with the seasons like other dogs. However, they are more prone to tear stains and eye boogers than many other breeds. Don’t worry. Gunk in the eye is completely normal. I decided to do some in-depth research into why poodles get so many eye boogers, and how to help them out. After all, our furry friends deserve to be comfortable and look their best too.

Why do poodles get eye boogers? Poodles get eye boogers because discharge collects at the corner of the eye and forms the ‘booger’ as it begins to dry. The eye discharge is especially noticeable in Poodles. Also, because of their breed, they are more prone to blocked tear ducts. 

What is a Poodle Eye Booger

Poodle eye boogers are the same as any other dog’s ocular discharge. Those funky boogers they get at the corners of their eyes are made up of a small number of different things. Mostly they are dried tears, skin oils, dead skin cells, and mucus. Additionally, they can contain some dust and other environmental debris.

Having an accumulation of these things in the corner of the eye is healthy. Moreover, it’s part of the natural cycle an eye goes through for self-cleaning. In short, normal eye boogers are a sign that your dog’s eyes are doing what they should.

Though they may look a little gross, the eye boogers need to happen. Without them, your dog’s eyes would quickly become a mess, and it could be tough for your dog to see. Not to mention, it might cause them pain. If the eye didn’t wash away dust, skin cells, and other debris, it would cover the eye itself over time.

Tear Stains are Not Poodle Eye Boogers

Those reddish-brown streaks that some poodles get in their fur at the corners of their eyes are not eye boogers. More importantly, they aren’t made by the eye boogers. Tear stains don’t have anything to do with how many eye boogers your dog gets.

The color comes from dye molecules. These molecules, known as porphyrins, contain iron. Hence the reddish-brown color. They are a result of your dog’s body breaking down red blood cells.

Like eye boogers, tear stains are standard for poodles. Though some dogs will only see a small amount at the corners of the eyes, others will have trails that go down their faces. Both are normal for a dog and nothing to be concerned about.

How to Clean Poodle Eye Boogers & Tear Stains

The cleaning process for poodle eye boogers isn’t complicated. If you’re bathing your dog anyhow, then you can always wash the eye boogers away while their fur (or hair in the case of poodles) is damp. Don’t squirt them in the eyes, of course.

Keeping your poodles fur clean will help with the tear stains. Always use a dog shampoo formulated for your pet’s fur, or hair. I suggest picking up a large bottle of Chris Christensen Spectrum One Shampoo. You can check prices and availability when you click here

Use a Damp Cloth For Poodle Eye Boogers

When you don’t have a sterile wipe, a damp cloth is fine. I suggest you use a slightly warm damp cloth to remove eye boogers from your poodle. The warmth is a courtesy. Plus, it can help release any especially difficult stuck on eye boogers.

If your dog has particularly stubborn, stuck-on eye boogers, take the time to use the warm, damp cloth as a compress. A bit of moisture for a minute or two should do the trick even if your pooch gets a little squirmy.

Don’t tear the boogers out of the fur. You could hurt the dog, and they’re more likely to be resistant to you in the future. That’s going to make things a lot harder. It’s fine to remove some right now and then wait a little bit to remove the rest. Just don’t wait too long.

You Should Always Clean Eye Boogers Off Your Poodle

Because poodle eyes are especially prone to infections, it’s essential to help keep your pup’s eyes clear by cleaning off their eye boogers. While it may not seem like a big deal to skip a day here or there, blocked tear ducts can be incredibly painful. Plus, an eye infection is messy and costly for you.

Tough Tear Stains

Once you have the crusty eye boogers, some tear stains may remain. That’s because the iron is stubborn when it comes to changing the color of your pet’s fur. The only real solution is to stay on top of the issue. In addition to wiping those eye boogers, you have to give the tear stains a daily scrub.

Always be gentle with your pet. When I say ‘scrub,’ I don’t mean you can treat their face like a stubborn dish with a baked-on casserole. If you can’t get rid of stains or you’re afraid there’s a problem, always take your pooch to the vet. I suggest using a high-quality carrier like the Sturdi Products Cube Pet Carrier from Amazon to keep them safe on the way. You can check it out by clicking right here

When Should You Worry About Eye Boogers on Your Poodle

Not all poodle eye boogers are the same. A dog who has normal eye boogers isn’t much concern. You wipe their face, give them a scratch behind the ear, and all’s well. However, there are ‘abnormal’ eye boogers, as well.

You should always check to see what type of discharge is causing the eye boogers. There are several types, and some are more harmful than others.

  1. Clear discharge is most often eye-watering from ‘stuff’ like dust in your dogs’ eyes.
  2. Tear stains aren’t boogers, but rather a part of the eye cleaning cycle.
  3. A white or grey discharge may be a sign of KCS, and you should see a vet about it.
  4.  Yellow and green discharge typically indicates an infection.

I’ll go into more detail below.

In poodles, eye boogers often come from a blocked tear duct that has gotten infected. The breed has extra sensitive eyes, so it happens more often in a poodle, but this can happen to any dog. There are several different types of discharge that cam form ‘eye boogers’ that are not normal.

  • Clear Discharge From Your Poodle’s Eyes

Epiphora, a clear watery discharge, can contribute to eye boogers in poodles. It may be perfectly healthy and nothing to worry about. Dog’s don’t cry like humans, but their eyes still water if they get ‘stuff’ in them. A dog whose eyes look like their literally crying can also have allergies or other irritants in their eyes. Don’t stress over a ‘sad’ pup. They aren’t actually sobbing.

There are other problems, some genetic and others related to an illness that can cause epiphora. If your dogs eyes water for a few minutes, you can breathe easy. It was probably just a little grit or pollen. However, if it continues for a long time, especially over more than one day, you should talk to your vet about what’s going

  • Poodle Tear Stains

Tear stains are a normal part of dog eyes self-cleaning. You shouldn’t need to see a vet about them. If anything, you can check with a groomer if you can’t get rid of stubborn tear stains.

  • Poodle Eyes with White or Grey Mucus

Dry eye is also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS. Sadly, this condition is a result of an immune system reaction. When your dog’s cells attack the tear glands and destroy them, then your pup’s eyes don’t water regularly.

KCS is definitely something to talk to your vet about. You may need to use artificial drops to help clear out your poodles’ eyes if they have this condition. Avoiding or treating infection is very important for doggy eye health.

There are plenty of things your vet can do to help a dog with KCS. They may do a Schirmer Tear Test to make certain this is the issue. Additional treatments can include medications, tacrolimus, or cyclosporine. Failing that, they can perform surgery that redirects other fluids (saliva) to help keep the eyes moist. Surgery should always be a last resort if other treatments fail.

  • Yellow or Green Discharge in Your Poodle’s Eye(s)

When your poodle has yellow or greenish discharge making boogers, this is usually a sign of an eye infection. Poodles are among the breeds that are especially prone to eye infections, so you want to make sure you consult your vet if you see these colors in the discharge.

Poodle Allergies Can Cause Eye Boogers

Sometimes the problem is just allergies causing some extra eye boogers. It helps to cut down on allergens in the house if you’re a poodle dog-parent. Using HEPA in your air conditioner or freestanding air filters can help cut down on problems in the air that irritate eyes.

If possible, remove carpets and other sources of allergy trapping fabrics from the areas where you and your poodle spend the most time. Likewise, give them filtered water and make sure your poodle gets regular baths. This will help reduce exposure to foreign contaminants.

Just like human allergies, poodles may need antihistamines or other medication to help with the problem. However, taking some simple steps to reduce exposure will help keep your favorite pooch more comfortable. Most allergic reactions respond well to treatment. There’s no reason to be concerned about poodle allergies as long as you take care to cut back on whatever is causing the problem and ask your vet what else you can do to help your pup.

Final Thoughts

No one wants to worry that their favorite pup might have a problem. Happily, more often than not, poodle eye boogers are no big deal. As long as you clean them off, they shouldn’t be a problem.

More rarely, those boogers are a sign that something is wrong. Paying attention to the little signs can certainly help you prevent significant problems in the future. Always call your vet if you’re concerned.

Poodles, like all dogs, can be wonderful companions for their people. Make sure you return the love with lots of petting, good food, playtime, and grooming, including wiping those gross eye boogers away.

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