Dog Eye Hemorrhage After Grooming
Dog Eye Hemorrhage After Grooming
Seeing your fur baby coming back from a grooming session with abnormal eyes is a worrisome experience. Dog eye hemorrhages or subconjunctival hemorrhage after grooming is a common injury. It results from several factors such as aggressive handling, trauma & strangulation.
Usually, the redness in the dog’s eyes after grooming doesn’t ring emergency alarms. But, sometimes such hemorrhages are more concerning such as in the case of corneal damage and ulceration.
If your dog is facing eye hemorrhages just after grooming, you must pay attention to the possible causes. Let’s dive into some of the major post-grooming eye issues in dogs and what you can do to resolve them.
What Does Dog Eye Hemorrhage Look Like?
If you notice something abnormal in the eyes of your dog after grooming, associate it with certain signs. A dog who has irritation or trauma to the eye will stay restless or doesn’t show any other sign at all. However, some noteworthy signs include:
- Redness and swelling in the eye conjunctiva.
- Pitting or ulceration in the middle or sides of the eyeball.
- Excessive white or sticky yellow discharge from the affected eye.
- Itching & irritation on the eye with paws.
- Head tilting and shaking.
- Abnormal eye-closing movements on the affected site.
What Can Cause Dog Eye Hemorrhage After Grooming?
According to a study published in 2022 by the American Animal Hospital Association, around 57% of ocular injuries occur in dogs after grooming. These eye problems such as dog eye hemorrhages occur within the first 24 hours after a grooming session.
Accidental Eye Trauma
One of the major causes of eye hemorrhage in dogs is accidental blunt trauma to the eyes. These traumas can arise from anything such as accidentally hitting the eye with a grooming tool such as brush and scissors.
Most of the aggressive dogs are hard to handle and may face such injuries trying to avoid grooming. It is the responsibility of the dog groomer to discontinue the grooming whenever the dog is not complying. Failure to do so can lead to serious injury to the eye and vision loss.
Inadvertent Strangulation & Choking
Groomers use a variety of restraining products to handle difficult dogs. The majority of them are put on a dog grooming leash which is a safe option from a vet's point of view. However, if your dog is aggressive and trying to break free, the lease can tie around the neck and cause choking & strangulation.
The immediate result of choking and strangulation is the breaking of blood vessels in the eyes known as subconjunctival hemorrhage. Apart from the harnesses and leashes, handling the dog from the neck and scruff, especially in small breed dogs can cause eye hemorrhages.
Exposure to Eye-Irritating Grooming Products
There are several pet-safe grooming products available that are used in dog grooming sessions. Although most of them are non-irritant to the skin, they do pose eye irritation when exposed. Grooming products such as shampoos, dry clean powders, and cleaning agents are among them.
A dog can get exposed to any of the above products and develop eye irritation and redness. The subconjunctival hemorrhage acts as a sequel to the initial irritation and allergic reaction. To be on the safe side, a groomer should use eye-irritating products on the facial areas judicially.
High Heat Blow Dryer on the Dog’s Face
Blow drying is a necessary part of a dog’s grooming routine to make the fur clean and dry. The pet-specific blow dryers have high speed and heat settings which can damage the eyes of your dog.
Improperly using the blow dryer at high speed and heat can lead to eye irritation. This mostly happens when the groomer uses it to try the face of the dog. Accidental exposure to the heated air in the eye will dilate the blood vessels in the eye and cause redness.
Treatment of Dog Eye Hemorrhage After Grooming
Dog eye hemorrhages are disturbing to look at, especially after grooming. If your dog is suffering from such an issue, the first thing is to inquire the groomer about any accidental injury during grooming.
For most dogs, minor hemorrhages resolve on their own without any emergency treatment. But, severe cases need veterinarian attention and must be done under the supervision of a qualified vet. I recommend you pay a visit to your concerned vet on an urgent basis.
The veterinarian will take a thorough history from you about the duration of the hemorrhage and exposure to any possible causes. Blood work should also be done to rule out blood clotting disorders in dogs leading to subconjunctival hemorrhages.
Additionally, a quick blood pressure monitoring and shimmer’s eye test will be done to rule out hypertension and corneal ulceration. All of the treatment options will be chosen based on the nature and severity of the dog's eye hemorrhages.