What do you do when a pug eye falls out? To be honest, few pug owners know the potential risk of their pug’s eye falling out. But since you are here, we are going to tell you the reason for pugs’ eyes popping out and what you can do to prevent or manage such a scenario.
Pug eye falls out because of a condition called pug eye proptosis. Proptosis in pugs stems from injuries, excessive scratching, or irritants affect the pup’s eyes. Regular grooming and eye care are necessary to prevent pugs’ eyes popping out.
It looks like something from a horror story. Your pug walks up to you whining and whimpering. On close inspection, one of their bulgy eyes has popped out of its socket. What do you do?
Why do pug eyes pop out?
Pugs are in the category of toy breeds described as brachycephalic. These are dogs with a characteristic flat face and nose. Dogs with flat faces like the pug, Boston terrier, and Pekingese, have thinner eye sockets too. This makes the eye appear bigger and protruded.
The Pug is living proof that God has a sense of humor
With most of the eye protruded, a pug is vulnerable to a condition known as proptosis. It is described as the forward displacement of the eye from the eye socket. The eye sits on a shallow socket making it vulnerable to popping out.
Besides a Pug, the English and French bulldogs are vulnerable to this condition as well. With that said, what are the causes of pugs’ eyes popping out?
Dangers of pug eyes falling out
Pugs are delicate dog breeds that need lots of human attention. There are a dozen situations that can cause your pug’s cute dark eyes to come off from their sockets. Here are common reasons to note;
The slightest injury to the eye can cause pug eyes to pop out. It could happen when the pug slams his face on a surface. Pugs’ eyes popping out could also occur when a flying object (a ball or his favorite toy) hits him squarely in the face.
Facial injuries also stem from your pug scratching himself too much. Like any dog, a pug would want to clean its eye off dirt and debris. If the eye itches, your pug will want to scratch it for relief.
The only problem is his eye is not like non-brachycephalic breeds. A Labrador (non-flat faced breed) can comfortably scratch the eye as much as they want. But when a pug does it, he risks gorging his eye out of its socket.
A Pug’s eyes and nose are super sensitive. Anything from cigarette smoke to fumes from cleaning agents can irritate the eye. This prompts your pug to scratch and risk proptosis. Irritants like hair, pollen, dust, or mold can irritate a pug’s eye too.
Look for these symptoms which are signs of eye irritation in a pug
Squinting or blinking excessively
Bloodshot eyes- a sign of inflammation
Sensitivity to light
Swelling in the lower or upper eyelid
Any of these symptoms can be caused by dust, dirt, or rheum (eye sleep) stuck in your pug’s eye. Also, the above could be signs of eye infection in your pug.
Common eye infections in pugs include;
Distichiasis & Ectopic cilia
The ‘Cherry eye’ is the weakening of the connective tissues surrounding the eye. It mainly affects the nictitating membrane which closes up and down to moisten the pupil. When the connective tissues weaken, this membrane closes sides instead of up and down.
This condition is nicknamed the ‘Dry Eye’. It can affect a pug that is poorly nourished or dehydrated. As a result, the clear film that moistens and protects the inner eye scrapes and becomes painful.
Distichiasis & Ectopic Cilia
Both of these conditions affect the eyelids of a pug. Distichiasis is when the eyelashes grow in an abnormal direction often curving downwards towards the eye. Ectopic Cilia describes an abnormal growth of eyelashes inside the eyelids and affecting the eye. Pugs are affected by Distichiasis more than Ectopic cilia.
This is a hereditary condition where the upper or lower eyelid folds inwards. Entropion has many causes;
The ligament tissue holding the eyelids constrict and pull the lower lids in
Sudden weight loss
Recurring eye infections
Entropion mainly affects pugs that are at least 1 year old. Besides the inverted fold of skin irritating the eye, this condition may also cause lacerations in the eye. This leads to other conditions like corneal ulcers.
Pugs eyes popping out, how can you stop it?
Groom your pug regularly and always check his eyes for any anomalies. While grooming, cut his nails short to prevent him from scratching himself. Also, trim his coat, especially overgrown hairs around the face, to prevent stray hairs from getting into the eye.
Keep your home clean as well. Dust and floating debris are common causes of itchy inflamed eyes in pugs. Also, refrain from smoking or using harsh detergents around a pug. The fumes can irritate his eyes as well.
Regularly clean your pug’s eyes with a soft damp cloth. This helps get rid of discharge and rheum. Cleaning the eyes at least three times a day is enough to keep infection at bay.
If your pug’s eye pops out through an injury or infection, rush the poor pup to a vet clinic. It can cost at least $500 to fix a popped-out eye in a pug. It is advisable to get pet insurance for your pug as bills can escalate to $4000 in more severe cases.
Here are additional measures you can take to prevent proptosis in pugs;
Do not get rough while playing with him
Avoid pulling the skin on his face.
Consider getting a harness instead of a leash. If a pug pulls on a leash, the pressure build-up around the neck can cause the eyes to pop out
VIDEO: Cleaning Your Pugs Eyes
Do not freak out when one of your pug’s eye pops out. Keep calm and cover the pug’s eye with gauze while you rush him to the vet. And when it comes to proptosis in pugs, prevention is always better than cure.
If the condition is not severe (bleeding or discharge from the eye) it is possible to pop the eye back in. Use a clean gauze and gently push the eye back into its socket. Do not apply too much pressure as this will cause more injury. Hold the gauze in place for a while and remove it to see if the eye is back in place.
Because a pug’s eye sockets are shallow, any trauma or pressure on the eye can result in it popping out. A pug’s eye will pop out even after getting it fixed. It is important to protect your pug’s eyes and groom him regularly to prevent this problem from recurring.
No, sneezing does not exact enough pressure on the face for the eye to pop. But extreme pressure from excessive scratching, hitting the face on a surface, getting hit by a flying object, or pressure on the neck by a leash can cause a pug’s eye to fall out. Also, diseases and infections in the eye can weaken eye muscles and cause the eye to pop out.
Do not freak out when your pug’s eye falls out. It is a common occurrence in brachycephalic breeds like pugs and English bulldogs. Hold a clean gauze over the dog’s eye, to prevent it from moving or getting pawed, and rush the pup to the vet.