DOGS BEHAVIOR

My dog ​​has tears, is he crying?

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It is common to see a tear drop from your dog’s eyes, which we instinctively translate as an expression of great sorrow, as is the case in humans.

In truth, tears in dogs are a symptom of something quite different, and to confuse it with grief is tantamount to anthropomorphism, that is, to ascribing human qualities to one’s dog.

Indeed, humans are, for the time being, the only living being who communicate their emotions by crying bitterly, whether it is when they are afraid, when they are happy or when they are angry.

In animals, sadness, joy, and distress can also cause crying, but it will not result in tears.

dogs Tears

for dogs, tears that flow abnormally are always caused by eye conditions and not by any emotion.

The flow of tears on the dog‘s face, a phenomenon with the medical name of epiphora, is therefore a defense mechanism automatically triggered by the dog’s body trying to protect itself from infection.

Tears have the function of washing the eye to evacuate foreign bodies or pathogens that can stick to it.

A common cause of epiphora in dogs is conjunctivitis, which also causes swelling of the eyelid, reddening of the sclera, pain and itching, and other inflammation symptoms.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a translucent tissue that covers the eyelids inside to isolate the eyeball from external pathogens.

It is not a disease because conjunctivitis can be caused by multiple environmental factors, pathologies and even congenital.

Causes of watery eyes for dogs

There are two types of epiphora in dogs, the so-called active one , caused by hypersecretion of tears, and the so-called passive one , caused by poor drainage of tears.

The external causes of dog epiphora

The tears intended to clean the dog’s eye are automatically secreted in abundance when the latter is the victim of aggression.

In this case, the master can detect the disturbing element by analyzing the environment of his dog, especially when the aggression comes from substances or external odors.

Smoke, a strong wind or clouds of dust are elements that can make your pooch cry in order to protect his cornea.

A foreign body, trauma, or an irritant’s projection in the dog’s eye can also cause an influx of tears to calm the irritation caused.

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The congenital causes of epiphora

The brachycephalic races are susceptible to presenting disorders of the lacrimal-nasal system which makes it possible to evacuate the tears.

Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs or Pekingese will therefore have a greater tendency to cry bitterly because of their skull’s specific morphology, which prevents the proper flow of their tears (passive epiphora).

Some small breeds, such as the Poodle and Bichon, can also exhibit this type of congenital disorder due to their skulls’ very bulging shape.

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There is a pathology called ectopic cilium, hereditary, which involves improper positioning of the dog’s eyelashes, which irritates his eye and cause persistent tearing.

This disorder can only be corrected with surgery, otherwise the eyelashes grow back again and again, which can cause very serious secondary eye infections.

Relatively similar, distichiasis is also a form of anomaly involving the implantation of eyelashes that irritate or injure the dog’s eye.

Likewise, entropion and ectropion are two types of eyelid deformities that can cause corneal inflammation and make your pooch cry.

Trichiasis, which must be distinguished from ectopic cilia, is irritation of the cornea caused by normally implanted hairs.

The corneal dermoid, also called palpebral is an abnormality causing the development of a fragment of hairy dermis on the cornea or the eyelid of the dog, then irritating his eye.

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Bacterial causes of dog epiphora

Some eye diseases can also cause different eye symptoms, including excessive tearing.

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This is the case with keratoconjunctivitis sicca, a very common condition in dogs that is caused by insufficient tear production.

In this case, the dog is crying for a thick, opaque substance, which accompanies an irritated, red conjunctiva and a cloudy cornea.

Blepharitis, inflammation of the eyelids, uveitis, inflammation of the inner lining of the eye and corneal ulcer are all diseases that can make your pooch cry.

Viral causes of dog epiphora

Some viruses cause nasal and eye symptoms, including the famous distemper, which causes distemper.

This disease causes watery eyes and significant nasal discharge, sneezing being, moreover, its main vector of contamination.

Distemper is accompanied by other symptoms: fever, cough and neurological signs when the virus has reached the dog’s central nervous system.

It is a serious and often fatal disease, for which there is a highly recommended vaccine for all dogs to prevent its spread.

Rubarth’s hepatitis is another viral disease that typically manifests as anorexia, listlessness, and conjunctivitis which often becomes complicated by glaucoma.

The symptoms then evolve to give way to coagulation disorders and hepatic dysfunctions which can leave lifelong consequences to the animal.

This disease often includes an overwhelming form, a severe form, and a chronic form, for which there is no treatment. 

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The crying dog

If your dog’s tears are not associated with his emotions, he is still able to cry to express his discomfort.

The crying of the dog is manifested by long plaintive barks which do not deceive anyone, as well as shrill moans, various complaints … And a number of “non-verbal” signals.

It is often possible to read the sadness of your pooch on his face, the dog displaying expressions often expressive enough to communicate with his peers, as with his master.

His posture also says a lot: if your dog remains prostrate on himself, isolates himself or shows signs of appeasement, something is bothering him.

By leaning a little more forward on canine psychology, we thus realize that a dog has many ways of crying, without shedding tears .

In order for your dog to stop complaining or suffering in silence, you must take the time to look into the causes of his discomfort without limiting himself to assuming that your puppy is “jealous”, “capricious” or “resentful” , emotions that do not exist with him.

Likewise, do not think that your dog is crying to get your attention on a whim: if he asks you, it is because he needs it.

A dog that cries to ask for attention or for games should therefore not be reprimanded, on the contrary, the master must question himself and consider that, despite all his efforts, he probably does not spend enough time with it. his dog or missed some of his needs.

It is also possible that your dog is crying because of discomfort or physical pain, as unfortunately is often the case with old doggies who howl all night because of their osteoarthritis.

Older dogs also gradually lose their senses and may rightfully feel completely confused when their sight, hearing, and smell begin to diminish.

They are then likely to cry to express their anguish and seek comfort from their beloved master.

Either way, a dog only cries when he has something to say. Therefore, it should never be ignored, and it is in good taste to start with a vet visit to rule out any injury or illness that would make him suffer.

The tears and the dog’s crying are two completely different phenomena that must not be confused to succeed in finding the cause of the animal’s unhappiness.

Tears are often signs of an eye disorder that can be congenital, caused by a foreign body, or caused by a pathogen (bacteria or viruses).

When sick, there are often associated symptoms, but this is not always the case and it is not good to wait too long before taking your dog to a veterinarian.

Worsening eye infections could indeed cost your dog his sight, and some weeping viruses, such as distemper, could kill him.

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