Can Pug Eyes Pop Out?

Edited by Dr. Jo

Pugs Eyes Care – Why?

Did you know that the field of vision for dogs is approximately 240 degrees, whereas in humans it’s just 180 degrees? And Pug eyes may have an even greater field of vision due to the protruded positioning of their eyes.

Are you concerned about your Pug’s eye problems? Worry no more and learn their common issues. Discover in 5 minutes how to correctly treat and clean your Pug’s eyes to avoid the most common problems!

Why should you concern about pug’s eyes?

  • Pug’s eyes are big and slightly protruded. That means they are easily injured!
  • Allergies, irritation, and infection are common threats to these beautiful black pearls.
  • These issues can develop bigger health problems, which can even lead to blindness!

Learn the proper eye cleaning technique to ensure that you do it safely at home. That way you can minimize the chances of Pug eye problems, and you could potentially save yourself some extra trips to the vet. Let’s get started!

Pug Eyes Problems (and HOW to avoid or treat them)

  • Bloodshot eyes: Bloodshot eyes may be normal for a Pug, but they can also be a sign of discomfort. Tears are also produced if there is discomfort. Allergies are the main cause, although other conditions may cause it, such as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca and Distichiasis.

Treatment: If allergies are the cause, you can start by trying to avoid the allergies. Diet changes, routine eye cleaning, and medicated drops from your vet can work to solve this. It’s hard to treat it during spring because of the abundance of allergenic agents, such as pollens and grass, so your vet is a wonderful source of advice.

  • Irritation: This can be caused by environmental debris, such as dust, or something more serious, such as an object trapped under the eyelid, for example, a grass seed.

Treatment: For dust, you can quickly treat this at home with eye rinse and eye cleaner. Applying daily eye lubricant if dust cannot be avoided, will help provide your Pug’s eyes from becoming uncomfortable. If it is severe, you should visit your vet to check for something stuck.

  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca: This is otherwise known as ‘Dry Eye’. It is when the eyes are not producing enough tears and become very dry. This is common in Pugs as their eyes dry out very easily due to being protruded. It can be dangerous, as when the eye becomes very dry, it leads to ulceration of the outer layer of the eye, the cornea, which is extremely uncomfortable and can affect vision.

“Left untreated, eye infections can spread or lead to vision loss.”

AKC – American Kennel Club
pugs eyes cleaning

Treatment: Keratoconjunctivitis sicca requires veterinary medication to increase tear production from the tear glands. It will also require frequent eye lubrication to help keep the eyes moist, and potentially antibiotic drops if ulcers have formed

  • Cherry eye: The third eyelid is a membrane in the inner-most corner of the eye. Cherry eye is when the third eyelid pops out of position and becomes swollen. It can happen in one or both eyes at the same time.

Treatment: Surgery is performed to replace the third eyelid back into the correct position and suture it in place to avoid it from happening again. Sometimes the other third eyelid is also sutured as even if it hasn’t popped out, it will be at a high risk of doing so.

  • Eyelash problems (Hereditary): Distichiasis and Ectopic Cilia are two of the most prevalent eyelash problems in Pug’s eyes. Both happen when extra eyelashes damage the cornea. That is very painful for your Pug. It causes chronic ulceration which can lead to corneal swelling and in extreme cases, perforation.

Treatment: The eyelashes can be plucked out but they tend to recur approximately a month later. So, surgery is the treatment of choice to remove the hair with the follicle so there is no regrowth.

  • Entropion (Hereditary): This is when the upper or lower eyelid rolls inward. It can be painful and cause ulceration of the cornea, due to the hairs touching the surface and causing friction. It is hereditary, and Pugs with entropion should not be bred from.

Treatment: Surgery can be performed to evert the eyelids, although this can only happen once fully grown to avoid excessive over-correction.

  • Pigmentary Keratitis (Hereditary – affects 50% of Pugs): This is a common symptom of other eye issues your Pug may have. This is easy to notice as it’s when the pigment from the iris filters into the sclera. This translates to the brown part of the eye flooding the white one. This may happen for no reason at all, but it can also be related to chronic inflammation such as Dry Eye and Entropion.

Treatment: Pigmentary Keratitis can’t be treated. It is important to address the underlying cause to stop it from developing further.

  • Eye prolapse: This is when the eyeball pops out. It is most common among brachycephalic breeds or short-nosed breeds with shallow eye-sockets. This happens due to the shape of their skull, which has prominent brow ridges and causes the eyes to be in a susceptible or exposed position.

Treatment: In order to prevent this issue, try to avoid playing intensively with them because it can cause a trauma event. If a prolapse happens, the eye can sometimes be saved if you take your dog to your vet immediately.

  • Corneal ulceration: Pug’s eyes are very prone to trauma due to their protruding position. This can cause scratches and ulceration on the surface of their eyes, which is extremely sore.

Treatment: Your vet will prescribe medicated antibiotic drops for your Pug’s eyes to heal the ulcer and prevent it from becoming infected.

Important Note: Pugs’ eyes are very delicate and are vulnerable to be injured if they get too excited. So, taking into account this issue, it is advisable to avoid playing too rough.

“Excessive blinking or pawing at the eyes are also indications that your dog has an infection or other problem….”

AKC – American Kennel Club.

How Often Should I Clean My Pug eyes?

Pugs’ eyes should be cleaned on a daily basis to remove all discharge and keep them clean and healthy.

How To Clean Pug Eyes: Practical (And Easy) STEPS!

Since Pugs’ eyes are quite delicate, you must pay attention to it and include cleaning into your daily routine. You must be careful though since you can cause also cause damage to the eyes if done too firmly. Other than the extra caution while cleaning Pug’s eyes, this is a simple process.

  1. Get what you need! Most of the times wipes for eyes are enough, especially if you’re using any of our recommended wipes for Pug eyes. You can also use cooled boiled water on a cotton ball, but wipes are the best choice.
  2. Clean the eye carefully: Softly and slowly, wipe through the outer areas of the eye, removing debris, eye sleep, and other contaminants. Pay good attention to the inner corner of the eye where discharge and tears most commonly run.
  3. Reward your friend! Give her/him a treat for Pugs and praise good behavior! This will help you train him and make it a positive experience for him.

Pro Tips:

  • Start cleaning your Pug’s eyes since she/he is a puppy.  That way she/he will become accustomed to the cleaning process.
  • To keep your Pug’s eyes from any discomfort, you must clean his eyes every day at least once a day. Twice is optimum.
  • You must avoid rough playing with him!
  • Do not use spray substances around your Pug.
  • Pay attention to each cleaning routine so you can note changes in his eyes. This can save her/his eyes from problems developing further.

My Pug caught something in his eye. How do I remove it?

The big eyes of a Pug are perfectly positioned to get damaged. In dusty places, this can become an issue. If your Pug has caught something in his eye, here’s how to solve it:

  1. Firstly, calm down your pup. Your Pug may become very upset when something is bugging him as this is an annoying experience for him (and also for humans as well!). You can use your pup’s favorite Pugs’ treats or Separation Anxiety toys for Pugs to achieve this.
  2. Sit down with your Pug and place him on your lap. You can also put him on top of a counter if it is safer, that way you will have more access to his face.
  3. Open your Pug’s eyelids gently with your hands. You must ensure your hands are completely clean and without irritants or substances on them. This may irritate your Pug more and he needs to be calm for this or an accident can happen.
  4. Add a few drops of a sterile saline solution or distilled water. You can easily find these items on our selection of first aid kits!
  5. Let your dog go giving her/him a minute to blink.
  6. Clean away his tears with our recommended wipes for Pug eyes.

If your Pug’s eyes still seem irritated, which you will notice by excessive blinking, tears or rubbing his eyes, take him immediately to your vet to be checked out.

Discover Useful Products To Clean Pug Eyes!

Check-out our Detailed Reviews for Pugs to pick the best products for your Pug. We have invested time and effort to ease your buying decision!

  • Eyes Wipes for Pugs
  • No products found.: Great to battle dryness especially during Dry Eye treatment. Optixcare has a whole product range which is worth checking out.
  • Treats for Pugs

Note for our members: We make plenty of reviews from different brands in the Dog Supplies Market. We DO NOT get free products from product companies and have NO relationship whatsoever with them.

Frequently Asked Questions – Pug Eyes Problems

Will my Pug’s eyes pop out if I hug him too hard?

No, but they might if you put pressure on the eyelids or are too rough with him.

How often should I clean my Pug’s eyes?

Eye discharge in Pugs is rather normal, so you might need to clean them on a daily basis. This is usually because of mild environmental irritants, such as dust, or dryness, because of the fact they protrude. If they become uncomfortable or red, you should take your Pug to the vet.

What to do if my Pug’s eyes are red?

Visit your vet ASAP! There’s little you can do to help Pugs at home without the right diagnosis from a vet.


Now you’re ready to know what’s going on with those black pearly eyes and keep them clean and comfortable. As you just read, Pug’s eyes can be protected by avoiding and applying certain practices. It’s important to note that the quality of the products you use along with our eye-cleaning tips will have a direct influence on the outcome. Always pick the best. If you cannot find the products we suggest, research any alternatives thoroughly and find one which is as close as possible.

So, did you properly clean your Pug’s eyes today? Please share your thoughts…

Dr. Joanna De Klerk

Dr. Jo is a graduate of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. She was one of BBC's Young Vets and experienced in telemedicine services, interviews, and public speaking about dogs and cats. Author of Harper Collins' Tales from a Young Vet and Tales from a Wild Vet, and a series of books on different dog breeds. She currently has 2 dogs at home. This article is the result of her experience not only as a Vet but also as a dog Parent.

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