Does Your Dachshund Have Eye Problems? Signs, Causes and How to Prevent.

Dachshunds are very amazing and beautiful animals. They are fun to look at, have great personalities and they are loyal to their owners. The problem with this breed of dog is that they are prone to different health issues that affect their bodies such as their spines, legs, and even their eyes.

If you are a first-time owner of the Dachshund breed it is important to know that this breed is prone to having genetic eye conditions that can lead them to a loss of vision, cataracts and can even leave them blind.

How do you know if your Dachshund has eye problems? You can know if your Dachshund has eye problems by noticing red eyes, blood on the eyelids, your dog scratches at the face or eyes often, discharge coming from the eyes, problems running into things, or a thin cloudy area on the eyeball. Some eye problems cannot be seen and so it is important to get their eyes checked out when going to the vet.

Why do Dachshunds get eye boogers? If you see eye boogers in your Dachshund, chances are that the discharge can be from allergies or some kind of eye problem that your dog is having. If you see excessive discharge from your dog’s eyes, take it to the vet right away to get the right treatment.

Top 10 Common Eye Problems in Dachshunds

Dachshunds are prone to different eye conditions and even though they seem worrying, it is important not to get stressed over eye problems that your dog can have. If you make sure that your dog’s eyes are checked out regularly then your dog can keep a healthy vision.

Here are some eye problems that the Dachshund breed is prone to:

1. Red Eyes in Dachshunds

Red Eyes in Dachshunds
Red Eyes in Dachshunds

Red-eye is when your dog has eyes or eyelids that are inflamed. You can see this when you look at your dog and see redness around the eyes, swelling, or blood on the eyelids.

Red-eye can happen to your Dachshund, and it can affect either one of the eyes or both of them. Here are some reasons that your dog might have red eyes:

  • Swelling of the eyelid.
  • Sclera
  • Conjunctiva or pink eye.
  • Cornea
  • Iris
  • Ciliary body.

Your vet can give you more information as to why your dog might have red eyes. This can happen because of accidents or because of an eye disease that your dog has. Have your vet check out your dog’s eyes or draw blood if necessary to find out the cause.

2. Dry Eye Syndrome in Dachshunds

Dry Eye Syndrome in Dachshunds
Dry Eye Syndrome in Dachshunds

The Dachshund breed is one of the most known breeds to have Dry Eye Syndrome. This happens because of the makeup of their face and body.

This is a very common problem and is called Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca which happens when your dog is not able to produce the tears needed to keep the eyes moist. This can cause your dog’s eyes and the cornea to look different. When the eyes are exposed to air and not enough tears, it can cause the cornea to become thick.

The problem with Dry Eye Syndrome is that if it is not taken care of then it can lead to other bigger problems such as Pigmentary Keratitis which can cause your dog to go blind.

Here are some symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome:

  • Scratching at the eyes often.
  • Discharge from the eyes.

Dry Eye Syndrome can be treated with drops or sometimes surgery.

3. Glaucoma

glaucoma in dachshund
Glaucoma in Dachshund is a serious problem.

Glaucoma happens when your dog has a build-up of pressure behind the eye that makes fluid develop. This can cause pain in the eye and cause the retina to get damaged. This eye disease can lead to blindness, but it can be treated if it is caught early enough.

Your vet might give you eye drops that can be put into your dog’s eyes if the pressures behind the eye build up. This can help to relieve the pressures and prevent blindness. Your vet can also give your dog surgical implants to help improve the drainage of the eye.

Here are some symptoms of Glaucoma to look out for:

  • The eyes are red or cloudy looking.
  • Bulging of the eyes.
  • Pain or blurred vision.
  • Loss of appetite, vomiting, loss of excitement.

4. Cataracts

cataracts in dachshunds
Senior Dachshund with cataracts problem.

The most common problem with Dachshund’s eyes is cataracts. This is something that can lead to blindness but usually is more common in older dogs.

Dachshund dogs are prone to cataracts, and these are something that can be inherited by the breed through genetics. Another reason that the Dachshund breed is more prone to cataracts is because of diabetes that is a disease that this dog breed is prone to.

Here are some symptoms of cataracts:

  • Cloudy look in the eye.
  • Milky-colored eyeballs.

Cataracts come when your dog has a calcium imbalance and where there is fluid in the eyes. When cataracts start, it can cause the light to not filter through the lens correctly but as time goes on and it is not treated, it will completely block the light and cause blindness.

Cataracts can be treated with surgery but many vets will not do this surgery on elderly dogs and so it is often a disease that the dog has to live with.

5. Eye Ulcers

Eye ulcers in dachshunds
Eye ulcers in dogs.

Dachshunds are often prone to eye ulcers or corneal ulcers which can come without any signs. These are things that need to be treated right away because they can become worse quickly and it can affect your dog’s vision.

Here are some symptoms of eye ulcers:

  • Scratching at the eyes.
  • Weeping-looking eyes.
  • Holes in the surface of the eyes.
  • Red eyes.
  • Squinting eyes more than normal.

Ulcers can come because of different things such as eye infections, red-eye, bacteria, or viral eye infections.

Ulcers can be treated quickly if you catch them fast enough and the treatment involves eye drops and antibiotics but can lead to surgery if untreated. The treatment usually is fast and can help the vision right away.

6. Progressive Retinal Atrophy or Gradual Loss of Vision

Vision Loss in Senior Mini Dachshunds
Vision Loss in Senior Mini Dachshunds

This is a genetic disease that is often seen in Dachshunds and can lead to vision loss or to blindness. This genetic disease is often found in mini-Dachshund breeds with any kind of coat type. When this happens, your dog will have the cells of its retina slowly dying. This normally is something that happens gradually.

You can find out if your dog has this disease by getting a DNA test done. If your dog is showing problems with seeing from 6 months age and on, it is important to get your dog tested for PRA.

7. Distichiasis (a.k.a extra eyelashes)

distichiasis in miniature dachshunds
Distichiasis (a.k.a Extra eyelashes) in Miniature Dachshunds, as known as extra eyelashes.

This is a genetic eye problem that is often found in miniature Dachshunds. This problem is when there are extra eyelashes that the dog grows that can scratch or irritate the eyeball.

You can know if your dog has this problem if they have irritated eyes or if their eyes are always tearing up more than normal.

This is something that may not require any kind of treatment but if your dog is showing signs of always tearing up there is a lubricant that your vet can give you or if this is excessive then your dog might require surgery.

8. Entropion and Ectropion

Entropion and Ectropion in Dog Eyes
Entropion and Ectropion in Dogs

This is an eye problem where the eyelids are folding outward. Entropion is a condition in which the upper eyelid is turned inward. Ectropion is a condition in which the lower eyelid is turned outward. This is a genetic problem, and it can cause the eyelashes to rub on the eye and cause ulcers to occur on the eyeball or can cause tearing of the eyelid.

This problem happens before the age of 1 year old. Your vet can know if your dog has this genetic eye problem by getting an eye test and it should be done yearly by your vet if the test shows positive.

9. Dachshund eye discharge (Eye Gunk)

eye discharge in dachshund
The medically correct term for dog eye gunk is eye discharge.

Eye gunk can be found on or around your dog’s eyes and is often caused by eye infections. If you see gunk or tear stains on your dog, you can wipe them clean with a cloth and see if they come back. If they do, you will need to see your vet.

Your vet will likely give you an eye rinse in order to keep your dog’s eyes from being irritated and if your dog has an eye infection, chances are that your vet will give you an antibiotic to treat the infection fast.

10. Microphthalmia or abnormally small eyes

double dapple Dachshund microphthalmia
A double dapple dachshund that is blind with microphthalmia

This is an eye disease that normally happens from a birth defect. This is often a genetic disease and looks like your dog’s eyes are sunken into the head. This can also be seen if your dog looks like its eyelid is larger than normal.

This disease has no kind of treatment, and your vet will do what it can to keep your dog comfortable.

Other Eye Problems in Dachshunds

Eye Condition Description Age Condition Starts Health Screening Advice to Owners or Buyers Other Information
Day Blindness NPHP4

a.k.a PRA or crd PRA

The genetic disease is often found in Standard Wires. From 5 weeks but normally from 10 months old to 3 years of age. A DNA test or a regular clinical eye test each year. This is a rare genetic disease in Dachshunds. Affects Mini Wire and Wire coat types.
Cataracts When the lens of the eye gets cloudy. Any age. Get an annual clinical eye exam. Find out if the parents had “clear” eyes. Cataracts can be a concern and can lead to surgery if necessary.
General Progressive Retinal Atrophy (GPRA) When the photoreceptors break down. Between 5 months old and older. Get DNA testing to look for mutated genes. Find out if the parents had two defective genes. Can lead to blindness or reduced vision.
Persistent Pupillary Membranes Leftover blood vessels that fill in the eye when it develops. Between 2-3 months old. Get an annual eye exam. Can only be seen when the eye is completely developed. Look like brown coloring in the eye. Can look like cloudiness in the eyes.
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia This is when the nerves are thin and have very few fibers. Between 9 months and a year of age. Will be able to see this during an eye exam. Find out if parents had “clear” eyes. Can lead to blindness or severe eye problems.


Immune-Mediated Retinitis (SARDS) Acute bilateral visual deficits, blindness, can attack retinal cells and cause sudden blindness. Usually, middle-aged or older dogs. No health screening can detect this. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the eyes.


Can affect Mini smooth, mini long, mini wired, mini smooth, and long wire types.
CORD 1 PRA Genetic disease is seen in many different kinds of dogs. Causes vision loss and blindness. 6 months of age or older. A DNA test is required to find this eye disease. Do not buy a Mini Dachshund from a breeder that has not done DNA testing for this and had a clear eye exam. Consult your vet for a diagnosis on your Dachshund.

How to Know if Your Dachshund is Going Blind

How to Know if Your Dachshund is Going Blind
How to test your Dachshund’s vision at home.

There are ways that you can tell if your dog is going blind. Some dogs can go blind in one eye, and some can go blind in both eyes. This can happen with an injury, or it usually will happen over time, and it is important that you recognize signs if your dog is suffering from loss of vision.

Here are some signs that your dog might be going blind:

  • Eyes look cloudy.
  • White spots on the eyeball.
  • Your dog is always bumping into things.
  • Your dog is afraid of new places or stairs.
  • No jumping on the furniture.
  • Red eyes.
  • Swelling in the eyes.
  • Gets startled easily when being approached.
  • Loss of interest in playing.
  • Pupils do not dilate in dark to light rooms.
  • Not looking at you.
  • Scratching face or squinting.

You can test your dog’s vision to figure out if your dog is losing its eyesight. Here is how:

  • Menace Reflex Test-you put your hand about 20 inches from your dog’s face and then move your hand about 3 inches from its face. If your dog flinches or looks away, then this is a good sign. If your dog doesn’t move, it can mean loss of vision.
  • Cotton Ball Test-You put a cotton ball close to your dog’s face and then throw it in a certain direction. If your dog looks at the cotton ball then this is a good sign, if not, it can mean loss of vision.

Best Eye Wash for Dachshunds

Best Eye Wash for Dachshunds
Put Eye Wash on your Dachshund to keep its eyes clean and healthy.

The best thing that you can get to keep your dog’s eyes clean and healthy is an eye wash. Eye wash is made up of boric acid and other ingredients that help to keep the dog’s eyes feeling smooth and to keep them from being red and irritated.

Eye wash is great to keep your dog’s eyes clean and to get rid of tear stains around the eyes. The eye wash can also be a way to wipe away any kind of debris that might cause infection to your dog’s eyes.

Here are some of the recommended eyewashes for your dog:

How to Keep Dachshund Eyes Healthy

It is important to make sure that your dog has healthy eyes, and you can do this by checking your dog’s eyes on a regular basis and by checking to make sure that your dog does not have any genetic eye diseases.

Checking your dog’s eyes and having your vet do this at every checkup can help to keep your dog’s eyes healthy and give them overall wellbeing.

Do not forget to schedule routine eye exams with your vet to make sure that your dog is healthy and strong.

Final Thoughts

Your Dachshund is a part of your family and so it is important that you take care of your dog just like you would a member of the family. Always have your vet check your dog’s eyes and make sure that you are paying attention to signs that your dog has unhealthy eyes.

If you spot something strange or you see that your dog is squinting, running into things, or seems to have a problem with its eyes, take it to the vet right away and always do your own visual inspection to make sure that your dog’s eyes are bright, without discharge and that they seem to be able to see things clearly.

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