Eyecare is important in all breeds of dogs. Some breeds, such as Cockapoos, will sometimes need a little extra eye care. This is partly due to hereditary predispositions, but there are also simpler reasons, such as tear stains and the longer hair around their faces which can irritate their eyes. (We may find it adorable, but your Cockapoo may find it more irritating than cute!). This article is all about cockapoo eye care. Hopefully, it provides owners with some help when it comes to cleaning cockapoo eyes and understanding cockapoo eye problems.
Common Cockapoo Eye Problems
Cockapoos are known for having a few different eye problems, but thankfully many are treatable! Often with just medication, though more severe ones may require surgery at some point. Of course, Cockapoos can suffer from some genetic eye problems such as glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA); however, these issues can be pre-empted from finding a good breeder. If you suspect your Cockapoo has these issues, then please speak to a vet.
One of the most common eye issues in Cockapoos is ‘weepy eyes’ or ‘tear staining’. This is mostly seen in lighter coloured dogs, but can still occur in darker coloured dogs (it’s just less noticeable). Tear staining can be caused by numerous things, both innocent and more serious. If you notice your Cockapoo has tear stains in their eyes, it may be worth getting a vet check booked in, just to be certain there isn’t anything more sinister going on!
Cockapoo red eye, commonly known as Cherry eye, can be caused by a blocking of tear ducts in a small gland in the corner of they eye. This can then become large, and inflamed, and ends up looking like a small cherry in the lower corner of the eye. If your Cockapoo has a cherry eye, it’s best to visit the vet as the gland needs to be popped back in.
Another issue Cockapoos may experience with their eyes is ‘corneal ulcerations’. A corneal ulcer is basically an ulcer or wound on the surface of the eye. They can be caused by a variety of things, including;
- Injuries. (This may be caused by debris, hair irritation, dust, etc. being stuck in the eye. Or an incident leading to damage to the eye, eg; running through a hedge and getting poked by a branch).
- Dry eyes. (If your cockapoos eye is dry then this can cause irritation and rubbing).
- Infection. (If your Cockapoo has recently had an eye infection it could result in an ulcer.)
The good news is that many types of corneal ulcers will typically clear up within a few days with correct veterinary care. It is important to regularly check your cockapoos eyes, especially if you notice redness or discomfort. Untreated ulcers can lead to blindness or even total loss of the eye, which is the last thing we want!
Cockapoos can also suffer from cataracts. Especially hereditary cataracts. This is a condition where a milky ‘film’ begins to spread across the eye, if left untreated it can cause pain and sight loss. So if you notice your Cockapoos eye changing, it is definitely a good idea to contact your vet!
Preventative Measures For Cockapoo Eye Problems
While some Cockapoo eye conditions are unpreventable, there are measures you can take to minimise the risk of things like irritation, allergies, and tear stains.
The first thing you can do may seem pretty self-explanatory, and that is hygiene! As we looked at in the last section, dust, debris and hair can cause irritations and abrasions which can, in turn, lead to ulcers. By regularly wiping your Cockapoo’s eyes, and keeping the fur in that area trimmed, you can minimise the chances of things rubbing on the eye.
The best way to keep eyes clean is to wipe the areas around outer corner, where the eyes meet the nose. This should remove any sleep and debris from your Cockapo. You will want to squeeze out most of the excess water, and gently wipe for the lower-inner corner of your pooch’s eyes downwards.
Because our cockapoo has light fur around his face, we use specialist wipes when cleaning around his eyes. Personally, we find these chemical-free ones from Amazon brilliant – they last a long time and help loads with tear stains (more on that later).
We understand that trimming the fur around your Cockapoos eyes might seem a bit daunting, and that is okay! If you decide you are going to trim the fur around your Cockapoos eyes yourself, there are a few things to remember.
- The first thing is to make sure you use rounded scissors. These may be called ball nosed, blunt-ended, etc. Avoid scissors with a sharp point where ever possible!
- The second thing is to build up to it. If you try and go straight to your Cockapoos face with sharp pointy things, then you may spook your pup and put them off the scissors entirely! Start by getting them used to you touching their face and around their eyes, and build up their trust and confidence slowly (and with plenty of treats!)
- And lastly, remember it is okay to accept defeat. If you find that trimming your Cockapoos fur is too difficult for you, it is perfectly okay to take them to a groomer to be done instead. After all, they are trained to do just that.
We have a full guide to trimming your cockapoo’s face here, if you want to find out more.
Keeping up with your vet checks can also go a long way in keeping your Cockapoos eyes healthy. Your vet will be able to check for less preventative issues and advise you on the best course of action. Catching problems with your Cockapoos eyes can be vital in ensuring their sight remains unaffected.
Cockapoo Tear Stains. What Exactly Are They?
Let’s take a look at an eye problem that you as an owner can have a more hands-on approach with. Tear stains, or weepy eyes. We touched upon this earlier as one of the more common issues you may have with your Cockapoo’s eyes. Tear stains often present as a reddish-brown discharge in the corners of your Cockapoos eyes.
Cockapoo tear stains are caused by something known as ‘porphyrins’. This is a type of molecule that is typically discharged through various excrements, such as urine, faeces, saliva and tears. The colouring comes from the iron within the molecule, and as it makes contact with air and sunshine the pigmentation deepens. (A bit of science there!)
While tear stains are harmless in and of themselves, they can sometimes indicate a more serious ailment, so be sure to have a vet check your pup over when you initially notice.
So why do some Cockapoos have tear stains? Well, it is typically because your Cockapoos ‘tears’ are not draining properly. This does not mean that they are upset and crying so much their tears are leaking (thankfully!), only that the fluid which keeps their eyes clear is not going where it is supposed to.
Common causes for this are tear ducts being too large, causing excessive tears to fall. Or alternatively, your Cockapoo’s tear ducts may be too small and unable to drain fluid efficiently. This can then be further affected by things like eye infections, allergies (including those in the diet), irritants (such as hair or dust) and more. Even ear infections can cause an excessive amount of ‘tear’ fall in the eye on the same side.
Many Cockapoos and other dog breeds who suffer from tear stains will do so long term. But in some cases, depending on the cause, your vet may be able to provide medical treatment to stop what is causing your Cockapoos eye problems.
It is often recommended to try changing your Cockapoos diet to minimise tear staining as well. Feeding your pup high-quality dog food with little to no grains can sometimes be very beneficial for your Cockapoo, and not just with reducing tear stains! This can be especially helpful if your Cockapoo suffers from allergies, and your vet will be able to advise you on what will be best for your pup needs specifically.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Your Cockapoo’s Tear Stains?
So now we have looked into what you can do to prevent your pup from getting tear stains, let’s take a look at some cleaning tips you can use to clean your Cockapoos eyes and remove any tear stains.
Unsurprisingly, cleaning tear stains from your Cockapoos eyes is not much different than the preventative cleaning measures we looked at earlier. The only real difference being the regularity.
If teary eyes are going to be a permanent part of your Cockapoos life then you will want to clean their eyes at least once a day, with warm water and a soft cloth or cotton pad. While it may take some time and patience, this will eventually clear up most of the red stains from your dog’s eyes.
As mentioned above, we keep a pot of these pre-soaked tear stain wipes to hand to help with our Cockapoo. It’s makes life a little easier (and creates less mess) than fetching the cotton pads down from the bathroom.
Another tip for keeping your Cockapoos eyes clean is keeping the fur on their face trimmed and tidy. Shorter fur will make the staining less noticeable, as well as making it easier to clean away. Not to mention there is less chance of stray fur irritating your pups eyes. As mentioned earlier, if you feel confident enough to do it yourself, that is great!
But there is no shame in having a groomer do it for you either. After all, they have more space, equipment and experience with keeping dogs looking smart.
We haven’t tried it personally, but some of our friends swear by coconut oils to help prevent tear staining. Basically, by applying a small amount to a cotton pad and gently rubbing it into the stained area, you can create a gentle, and natural, water-proof coating that can help to minimise your Cockapoos tears from staining.
Following on from that, if you live in an area that has high mineral content in the tap water, offering your Cockapoo filtered water can also help to reduce tear stains. A way of seeing whether this could be a good technique to do is to check whether you notice similar staining around your Cockapoo’s mouth – if there’s staining there too, then it could be the water.
The Difference Between Cockapoo Teary Eyes And An Eye Infection
When you own a dog who suffers from teary or weepy eyes, one incredibly stressful thing can be knowing whether your Cockapoo has an eye infection or not. How do you tell the difference between the different kinds of discharge?
It can be pretty confusing, especially if you do not know what discharge comes from infection. Obviously, if you are ever unsure you should always contact your vet, however, we are going to shed some light on what you might expect if your Cockapoo has an eye infection.
For the most part, you will likely notice if something of a more serious nature is wrong with your Cockapoos eyes. The main indicator being your Cockapoos eyes will likely show other signs of irritation, such as twitching/excessive blinking, redness and general discomfort, and your pup themselves may be acting out of character. Not to mention there may be smelly, green-yellow pus or discharge present.
Cockapoo eye infections can be caused by a variety of things, such as;
- Abrasions on the eyes.
- Irritants (e.g. Smoke, air freshener, deodorant)
- Debris (e.g. hair, dirt, pollen)
- Bacteria, viruses or fungi.
If you are checking your Cockapoos eyes regularly and wiping away their tear stains then you should catch any possible infections early.
Treatment can vary depending on whether your vet determines it is a one-off infection, or an underlying cause needs treatment (for example, an allergy or auto-immune issue) Your vet may prescribe eye-drops or an ointment, also known as a topical medication. Your Cockapoo may also be prescribed antibiotics. Obviously, your vet will give you a more detailed rundown of how to apply your pups medication!
Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can minimise your Cockapoos chances of getting eye infections.
One of them is once again keeping the fur around their eyes short and clean. It may sound repetitive, but it is genuinely a simple but effective way to keep Cockapoo eyes healthy!
You may also find keeping your Cockapoo out of rooms where people smoke, burn incense or use aerosol cans can help prevent irritation. This can help your Cockapoos eyes, skin and respiratory system so is definitely worth the benefits! (And of course, you can let your pup back in once the room has aired out a little).
If you take your Cockapoo out in the car regularly, keeping the windows shut can also help prevent debris and other foreign bodies from entering your dog’s eyes. It may seem harsh not letting them stick their heads out the window, but they will thank you in the long run. When you open the window while driving, it allows dust and pollen to enter. This can cause irritation and even abrasions in your Cockapoos eyes.
Summary: Cockapoo eye care
Cockapoos may have their fair share of eye issues, both generally and hereditary, but with the right care and a handful of preventative measures, these issues are easily manageable. And even avoidable.
Hopefully, we have given you a few ideas on how to keep your Cockapoos eyes clean and healthy, whether it is by yourself, through your vet, or even with the help of a groomer! By keeping your Cockapoo happy and healthy, you maximise the amount of time for fun and games!
If you’re interested in caring for your Cockapoo, check out our article about how to get rid of Cockapoo knots where we outline the methods that work for us!
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Top picks for our cockapoo
1. BEST CUTE ACCESSORY
We love: This practical, reversible plaid dog jacket – super cute and is holding up well after multiple washes.
2. BEST COCKAPOO CLIPPERS
We love: These fantastic Wahl dog clippers – they’ve never let us down when performing some DIY pandemic grooming on Ziggy!
3. BEST UNIQUE DOG TOY
We love: This fun-packed, foraging snuffle mat – load your treats, or even normal doggy biscuits, and watch your cockapoo’s tail start wagging!