Eye discharge indicates that your German Shepherd’s (GSD) eyes are clearing out debris.

Dog tears lubricate and clean the eyes to keep them safe.

Eye discharge may occasionally be a symptom of a far more serious issue.

If your dog’s ocular discharge appears out of the blue, you should keep a watch on it and let your veterinarian know.

Let’s explore everything you need to know about dog eye discharge and other eye disorders.

Causes of Eye Discharge in GSD

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Epiphora
  • Eye Ulcers
  • Dry Eye
  • Glaucoma


Conjunctivitis is an infection of the “conjunctiva”.

The conjunctiva is a mucous membrane that protects your dog’s eyes and eyelids.

The conjunctiva serves as the eye’s defense against diseases and foreign objects.

This mucous membrane is strikingly similar to the lining of the nose or mouth.

“Pink eye” is a term for the disorder that results from an infection or inflammation of this membrane. [1]


Epiphora is described as overproduction of tears in dogs.

This can happen due to distichiasis or entropion.

Distichiasis means turning in of the eyelashes.

While entropion means turning in of the eyelid.

Eye Ulcers

A corneal ulcer is also known medically as ulcerative keratitis in dogs or an eye ulcer.

It is a disorder in which the cornea, the eye’s outermost part, erodes and develops a divot or dent.

This divot may only be surface-level or it may also impact the inner layers of the eye.

Eye ulcers cause pain, eye discharge, frequent blinking, and occasionally swelling. [2]

Although it can affect any type of dog, this illness is found in brachycephalic dog breeds.

Dry Eye

When there is a serious decrease in tear production, dry eye occurs.

Untreated, it can cause severe conjunctivitis, eye ulcers, and lifelong scarring.

It is a very painful condition.

Dogs’ dry eyes are immune-mediated conditions.

This indicates that the body annihilates its tear glands due to an immune system flaw. [3]

If the illness is treated promptly enough, the damage can be slowed down with medicine.

It typically occurs gradually over months to years.

Rarely, hormonal issues and certain medications contribute to dry eye.

It affects 1 in 22 dogs, which is 4,5%.

Dry Eyes Affects 1 in 22 or 4,5% of all Dogs


Glaucoma is an eye disorder that results in increased intraocular pressure (IOP).

To properly diagnose and measure this pressure, vets use a tonometer.

Certain breeds are more prone to glaucoma than others.

Teacup Boston Terrier is one of those breeds.

Hereditary drainage angle anomalies are responsible in this case.

When a healthy dog has increased IOP, it has primary glaucoma.

Opposite, secondary glaucoma results from an eye disease or infection. [4]

What Is The Eye Discharge in Dogs?

Eye discharge in dogs is a liquid with various consistency secreted from the eyes.

The consistency depends on the cause of the eye discharge.

Normal discharge is luminescent and watery, mostly secreted during the night.

Types of Eye Discharge in Dogs

Tears are essential for maintaining the cornea and eye health.

They provide them with moisture and oxygen and remove dirt and pathogens. 

Your dog’s extremely moist eyes could be a sign of a variety of illnesses.

This varies from simple allergies to more significant structural anomalies.

Epiphora is the term for excessive eye watering in GSDs.

It occurs when their eyes are exposed to a lot of dust, allergens, pollutants, pollens, or smoke. [5]

Conjunctivitis is a condition that inflames your dog’s eye’s inner lining.

It may be the cause of their excessive watering, mucus discharge, and pus discharge.

The most common causes of conjunctivitis include tumors, dry eyes, or traumas.

Your dog may have a canine dry eye if its eyes are watery and generate a thick mucus-like substance.

When the dog’s tear glands fail to secrete enough tears to keep the eye lubrication, a dry eye develops. [6]

Dry eyes might develop into major German Shepherd eye infections if not managed.

When there is no lubrication, excessive rubbing or chaffing can cause eye ulcers.

Reddish-brown pigmentation below the inner eye corners is more common in light-colored breeds.

The pigment porphyrin, which is present in dog tears, is the cause of this hue.

After being exposed to the air for a while, it turns a reddish-brown tint.

Why Do German Shepherds Have Eye Discharge?

German Shepherds have eye discharge due to a normal process of self-cleaning in the eyes.

Sometimes, the changes in eye discharge indicate pathological processes in dogs. [7]

If the discharge changes color or consistency, contact your vet for additional investigations.

How Is The Type of Eye Discharge Determined?

The type of eye discharge is determined by its consistency and color.

To make sure what causes it, vets do a variety of tests and examinations.

A thorough eye examination must be carried out to distinguish these disorders.

This will involve a thorough assessment of the eye’s supporting structures.

To make sure the cornea is not injured, vets use corneal stain tests and the Schirmer tear test.

To rule out glaucoma or uveitis, intraocular pressure measurement is crucial.

Additional testing includes sensitivity testing and nasolacrimal duct flushing. [8]

Testing for allergies and conjunctival cytology or biopsy aid in the diagnosis.

The ophthalmology service evaluated a 2-year-old female golden doodle that had been spayed.

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine was the site of the study.

This dog had a bilateral ocular discharge and inflamed eyes that had been present for a few weeks.

Follicular conjunctivitis was identified after conducting all necessary testing.

Treatment of Specific Eye Discharge

Normal dog eye discharge is simple to clean on your own.

Firstly, you should wet the cotton ball in cases of German Shepherd eye discharge.

The crusts will soften if you hold them on your dog’s eyes for a short while.

When they’re soft, gently remove the crust with the cotton ball.

You might have to do this numerous times if the eye is completely sealed shut with muck to get rid of crusts.

Remember that there are some natural remedies for dog eye infections.

For more professional care, you can switch to Angel’s Eyes Tear Wipes.

These have antibacterial purposes and remove eye stains with only a few swipes.

To avoid spilling and multiple steps – Miracle Eye Care Wash Pads can come in handy.

Begin your pet’s treatment with diphenhydramine if they are prone to seasonal allergies.

Discuss antihistamines with the veterinarian for a better response. [9]

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) usually requires specific antibiotic treatment.

Antibacterial solutions like the Veterycin Eye Wash can fasten up the recovery process.

It can be applied 3-4 times a day and is safe around the nose and mouth.

It’s known to remove itchiness and redness of the eyes.

Conditions like birth defects and glaucoma require surgical treatment.

What Causes Eye Discharge in GSD?

Conjunctivitis and allergies cause eye discharge in GSD.

These are some of the many diseases that can lead to changes in eye discharge.

The diagnosis includes physical examinations and tear production tests.

Treatments can vary from eye ointments to surgical procedures.