Dog Eye Discharge Smells Metallic: What You Should Do About It

Eye discharge is actually a common problem in many dogs. In some breeds, discharge is completely normal, but in others, it can be associated with potentially serious issues. What happens if the dog’s eye discharge smells metallic, though?

I’ll be tackling eye discharges in dogs and what you should do if it smells metallic.

What Happens If Dog Eye Discharge Smells Metallic?

Just like our eyes, dogs’ eyes would produce discharge in the form of tears, which is what cleans the eyes and removes any debris, like dust, dirt, or pollen from their eyes’ surfaces. This is a natural process when tear ducts product tears to wash eye surfaces every time your dog blinks, which is needed for good eye health.

However, excessive discharge of tears, or discharge from the eyes, can be a sign of disease or infection that needs to be checked on. Your dog may experience eye discharge due to various problems, with allergy being the most common. Unfortunately, we can’t rule out serious disorders as well, such as glaucoma or bacterial infections.

Here are types of eye discharges and symptoms that may indicate a medical condition that requires addressing. You can check their eyes properly by gently pulling down their lower eyelids, ensuring there is no excess discharge and that their eyes are bright, NOT pink or red:

  • Chronic eye discharge
  • Yellow or green discharge, which would signify infection
  • The eyelids are crusted over
  • Red and inflamed eyes
  • The foul smell of the discharge (like metallic)
  • Presence of nasal discharge
  • Pain around your dog’s eyes, which shows through him rubbing or scratching his eyes

It is crucial to monitor your dog’s eye health, as they are delicate and complex structures having their mechanism to maintain a clean and disease-free area. If it becomes impaired or overwhelmed with a lot of irritants or infection, then it can cause discharge that causes discoloration and odors. Such discharge can cause serious health issues that would detriment not only their eyes but their overall health!

Fortunately, there are ways to treat and prevent the discharge from occurring, by first addressing and identifying the problem.

Causes of Eye Discharge in Dogs

As mentioned, there are different reasons behind eye discharge in dogs, which can cause a metallic smell. Here are the following possible causes:

1. Contaminants

Dogs naturally produce tears to bathe their eyes, which would get rid of dirt and irritants affecting the eye. If the tearing became excessive, it might be due to your dog being overexposed to too much debris. That’s why you need to protect your dog’s eyes, especially during windy days when they are outdoors.

2. Genetics

As mentioned, eye discharge is common in certain breeds, such as spaniels and terriers. If this is the case, then regular eye examinations and cleaning around their eyes are important.

Also, when cleaning the eyes, it’s best to use a soft cloth with warm water only. When you bathe your dog, make sure that you avoid using irritating hair products that come from certain soaps, shampoos, along with flea medicine that can go to their eyes. It’s best to take them to the groomer regularly to snip away excess hairs from their eyes, too.

3. Allergies

This is a very common cause of eye discharge, which can be due to food, mold, or pollens. Allergy discharge would usually be clear and runny and can be treated with medication.

4. Injuries

Injuries or foreign bodies entering the dog’s eye may result in their bodies producing too many tears to lubricate their eye surface, an attempt to lubricate the injury, or wash the debris out. This may cause bacterial infections, requiring monitoring and treatment, as this can cause metallic-smelling discharge.

5. Infections

There are eye conditions like conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation and infection, or other infections around the eye structures, which cause red and inflamed eyes, and/or yellow-green discharge. Metallic-smelling discharge can also occur, and such infections can be treated with antibiotic eye drops.

Dog Eye Discharge

6. Eye Disorders

Excessive tear production can be caused by serious eye disorders like cherry eye or glaucoma. If such symptoms appear, it’s important to take your dog to the vet to address the condition and its symptoms, providing appropriate treatment for it.

7. Poor Diet and Nutrition

Providing your dog with healthy food and supplements that promote eye health can prevent eye disorders causing eye discharges. It’s also important to avoid using a collar that places pressure on their necks, contributing to more pressure in the face and head area. This would also prevent eye disorders and pressure in, along with discharge from, their eyes.

8. Tear Duct Anomalies

Genetic anomalies around the tear ducts or eyes may result in excessive tears and/or discharge. As with genetics, it is uncontrollable and requires regular monitoring of their eye health.

9. Underlying Medical Conditions

Eye discharge can also be a sign of underlying health conditions from diseases like distemper or immune system disorders, which would attach tear ducts. This causes a thick and sticky discharge that sometimes smells.

This is why it’s important to get your dog vaccinated from such preventable diseases and to protect your dog from any eye injuries, as well as monitoring their overall health to address any immune system disorders to prevent them from developing.

Wrapping It Up

There are various types and causes behind eye discharges in dogs, and it’s important to know about them to ensure that they are given the right help required. Usually, there would be nothing to worry about, but if it smells metallic and worsening over time, it’s best to take them to the veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions.

I hope that this article answers your question, “what happens if dog eye discharge smells metallic?” Now that you know the answer, you can take proper action for a happy and healthy pet.

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