Dealing with eye problems in chihuahuas

Here we look at some of the most common eye problems in chihuahuas. Because chihuahuas are close to the ground and their eyes can  protrude it can leave them vulnerable to cuts and infections. 


The conjunctiva is the moist tissue that covers the eyes, conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva. It can be caused by a foreign object entering the eye, fungus or a virus. You may see the eye is red and swollen and there may be a discharge.

Your chi may be blinking excessively, watering causing tear staining  or the eye may be half closed. Conjunctivitis is extremely uncomfortable; it can be itchy and can also be painful.  This could make your chihuahua snappy and likely to bite.

When Mika had a server bout of conjunctivitis the vet also added some anaesthetic, you could see the relief in him straight away. You may be prescribed an antibiotic cream that needs to be dropped in twice a day.

But, if it’s a minor infection with no foreign objects you can try buying some Brolene drops as they are able to deal with minor eye infections in a couple of days. You can buy Brolene from the pharmacy without prescription. Or try theses eye drops  from Amazon


Foreign object in eye

With inquisitive faces near the ground, it is easy for eyes to pick up foreign objects such as sand, grass seeds or dirt. While they may only seem small, they can cause a lot of irritation, pain and discomfort. Signs of a chi having a foreign object in the eye include;

  • Swelling of the eye or eyelid
  • Squinting or difficulty focusing
  • Rubbing their face on the floor
  • Pawing at the eye
  • Excessive tears.

You may be able to help your chi yourself though flushing the eye, if the problem persists, then seek assistance from a vet. If you think your chi has an object in his eye, wrap him in a towel so he can’t rub it and take him to the vet.

Chihuahuas are very inquisitive and love to ferret about. This can make them vulnerable to foreign objects getting in their eyes.

Dry eyes

A common eye problem in chihuahuas, especially for older dogs, is dry eyes. This comes from a lack of tear production. As well as affecting chihuahua over the age of six, it can also occur from a genetic defect or a viral infection. Symptoms of dry eyes include;

  • Dull eye appearance
  • Redness or irritation
  • Sticky eyes, where it is a struggle to blink
  • Eye discharge

If dry eyes symptom is affecting your chi, then your vet can prescribe medication or lubricating eye drops to help improve tear production. You can also help by wiping eyes with a warm, damp cloth. While this complaint is common and is easy to treat, left untreated and your chihuahua could suffer from permanent eye damage including blindness.

Corneal ulcer

An ulcer is common after a trauma to the eye such as a scratch, object in the eye or a puncture. A corneal ulcer is largely superficial as it only affects the top layer of the cornea, however, if your chi’s eyes suffer severe damage then they may have a deep ulcer that affects other layers of the cornea and is a much more serious condition.

Signs of a corneal ulcer include;

  • A film over the eye
  • Reluctance or inability to open the affected eye
  • Runny eyes or discharge
  • Redness or inflammation.

Vets will prescribe antibiotics and pain medication for corneal ulcers which usually clear up the problem within a week, so do not hesitate to seek assistance from the vet if you think your chihuahua dog is suffering from an ulcer.


Glaucoma can be a serious condition that often causes blindness in dogs. Glaucoma happens through a fluid build-up which puts pressure on the optic nerve. A dog will show signs of a headache if they are suffering from glaucoma and other signs to look out for include;

  • Change in behaviour
  • Loss of vision in an eye
  • Dilated pupils
  • Misshapen or bulging eyes.

To prevent glaucoma in your chi, you can include specific dietary supplements, eliminate pressure on their neck through a harness system instead of a collar and lead and monitor eye pressure in older dogs in regular veterinary exams.

Eye trauma 

Accidents can happen and it is easier than you might think to dislodge an eye from it’s socket. This would be extremely traumatic for both you and your chihuahua. How you deal with the injury can save your chihuahuas life. TBUD

This is not a definitive list of eye problems in chihuahuas, if you are managing an eye condition please give us the benefit of your experience in the comments sections. Eye problems are potentially serious so please always get your vet’s advice if you are worried.

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