Weepy eyes in dogs

Dog on white background


  • Weepy eyes tends to indicate something is wrong.
  • A small amount of crusting in the corner of the eyes is normal, but continual weeping or a sticky discharge isn’t.
  • Don't ignore weepy eyes, always contact your vet as soon as you notice a problem.

Causes of weepy eyes in dogs

Common causes of weepy eyes include:

Less common causes:

  • Exposure keratitis - where the surface of the eye isn’t completely protected by the eyelids, so becomes sore and weepy. Exposure keratitis is common in short nose breeds such as the Pug and Shih Tzu
  • Nasolacrimal duct problems - the nasolacrimal ducts are tubes that drain tears from the eyes. Anything affecting them can cause tears to overflow out of the eye (causing weepy eyes).

Other symptoms

Look out for, and tell your vet about any other symptoms you have noticed, such as:

When to contact your vet

Contact your vet straight away if you notice anything wrong with your dog’s eyes. Eyes are far too precious to leave to chance and the problem could get quickly worse if left without treatment.

Even if your dog has had weepy eyes for a while, contact your vet for an appointment to have them checked. Even if the problem has been going on for a while, there is a chance that they could have a treatable condition.

Published: June 2020

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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst