|Natasha Rose and brother Porcyon spend the day in the field|
The Eyes Have It: How to Clean Your Dog's Eyes is an excellent article from this month's issue of Gun Dog Magazine describing how to keep your bird dog's eyes in tip top shape after a day in the field and grasses. In an earlier blog post, Hunting & road trip survival with your dog, I mentioned handy items to have on hand when taking your Vizsla on a hunt or a simple romp in fields. Dave Carty suggests to add a supply of cotton swabs, some sterile saline solution or some other kind of commercial eye wash and a tube of over-the-counter eye lubricant.
If after a day in the field your dog is pawing her eyes or is squinting, it is a good indication there may be debris in the pocket between the bottom of the eyeball and the lower eyelid. Follow these simple steps wash out the eyes. You may need the assistance of a friend to keep your dog still or to squirt the wash into his eyes.
- Place your dog where it is easy to work with her (e.g. on the tailgate).
- Pull apart her eyelids with your thumb and forefinger and examine the pocket between the bottom of the eyeball and the lower eyelid.
- Take a dry cotton swab and gently swipe the pocket from one end to the other, twisting the swab a half turn to pick up any possible debris.
- Do the same with the other eye.
- Flush out the eyes by pulling apart her eyelid, and with the assistance of a friend, place a healthy squirt of saline solution in each eye.
- Put a couple drops of an over-the-counter eye lubricant into the eyes if your dog is still squinting or she is pawing at them.
- Consider making an appointment as soon as possible if the problem persists.