5 Types of Eye Goop and What They Mean

Are your dog's eyes getting a little goopy and you’re wondering what it could possibly mean?

There are different reasons for that eye goop and some can be acceptable while others are more sinister. Let’s take a look at the most common types.


Your dog’s eyes produce tears to keep themselves healthy. These tears normally drain through the ducts at the inner corners of the eyes but it sometimes means that goop or crust forms in that area. It’s simply a collection of tears, oil, mucus, dead cells, dust etc, is perfectly normal and will come with no other symptoms.


If your dog looks like s/he’s been crying then it may be a simple case of allergies. It can also mean there is something in or irritating the eye, a blocked duct, or even something more serious like a corneal wound or glaucoma. Because the range of reasons for this tearing, or epiphora, are from simple to serious it is important to take note of accompanying symptoms. The presence of redness, pain or other types of discharge means you should make an appointment with your Vet.


These stains are more visible on light coloured dogs and are completely normal. The reason a stain occurs around their eyes is because the pigment in tears, called porphyrin, turns a red-brown colour with exposure to air. This can be resolved by wiping the area several times a day or by using a pet-friendly tear stain remover.


Dry eye, keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS, means that your dog’s immune system will try to destroy the tear producing glands in the eyes and their body will try to compensate for the lack of tears being produced with mucus. However, because mucus can’t replace tears for the eyes it means redness and pain will develop with a chance of ulcers and even abnormal corneal pigmentation. This is very uncomfortable for your pet and could even lead to blindness. If you notice this mucus around your dog’s eyes then it is time to see a Veterinarian.


Evidence of yellow or green discharge is often a sign of infection in the eye, especially so if there is redness and discomfort evident. If you notice these symptoms then your pet needs to be seen by a Vet for treatment as it won’t resolve on its own and will be very uncomfortable.