Why Is My Golden Retriever’s Eye Watering? [11 Reasons]

Why Is My Golden Retriever's Eye Watering

Usually, eye-watering or eye discharge is the most prominent sign of eye disorders common in Golden Retrievers. But since these breeds are family dogs, sometimes owners predict their watery eyes may be tears. And their dogs are crying. So, the question exists- why is Golden Retriever’s Eye Watering? Are the dogs showing emotion?

Sometimes overactivity in the eyes blocks the tear duct of your Golden Retriever. Hence, tears overflow. Besides this, allergies, corneal ulcers, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, and trauma cause your Golden Retriever’s watering eye. Along with this, entropion, distichiasis, poor diet, stress, teething, and obstruction in the tear duct may also lead to watery eyes. 

Unlike humans, Retrievers show their sadness and emotions differently. Thus, these dogs might whimper or isolate themselves when they are sad. But they never shed tears for expressing their sadness or grief.

In this article, I will try to give detailed information on the reasons for Golden Retriever’s watering eye. Hence, let’s start digging into the eye problems of these dogs.

Is Tear Important For Golden Retriever’s Eye?

Watering from your Golden Retriever’s eye is a natural process. But do you think the water inside your pet’s eyes has a specific role? 

Like humans, the presence of water in your Golden Retriever’s eye is essential. Further, as the fluid in the eye surface provides oxygen and nourishment to the cornea, it has an immense role in eye health. Besides this, water or tear forms a layer of tissue in front of your pet’s eye to remove debris from the eye surface.

More to this, the tear duct present in the eye corner collects the water from your Golden Retriever’s eye. So, any irritation or injury in the tear duct is responsible for watering.

In addition, the tear in Golden Retriever’s eye also helps to reduce friction during eye movement. Therefore, your pet’s eye needs an adequate amount of tears for proper functioning.

What Are The Types Of Golden Retriever’s Eye Discharge?

The type of discharge from your pet’s eye differs according to the potential health issue. Since eye discharge is a common problem for Golden Retriever, you need to know about this problem. Besides this, knowledge about types of eye discharges helps to determine when the condition is fatal and can’t be resolve at home.

So, in fatal cases, you can take your pet to the Vet for diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, the types of eye discharge are:

Yellow Or Green Discharge From Golden Retriever’s Eye

A yellow or green discharge from your pal’s eye is the most prominent sign of eye infection. Along with this, redness, discomfort, and inflammation near the eye areas are also common.

Further, eye infections can be a primary health issue. Or, it may result from other health hazards like ear infections, allergies, cancer, thyroid problems, or heart diseases.

All these conditions reduce the defensive power of your pet and affect the respiratory, digestive, or nervous system. Therefore, they are fatal health problems that need immediate treatment.

White- Gray Mucus From Golden Retriever’s Eye

Sometimes the response of your Golden Retriever’s defective immune system attacks and destroys the tear-producing glands in the eyes. Since this results in lesser tears, your pal’s body compensates for this problem by increasing the viscosity of the tears present.

However, the mucus produced from viscous tear fails to provide friction. As a result, your pet releases a white-grey mucus from the eye corner in a lesser amount. So, your Golden Retriever’s eye becomes red, swollen, watering, and painful.

Watering From Golden Retriever’s Eye

Watering can be both a benign or a serious health condition in your Golden Retriever’s eye. Usually, various factors cause watering, like allergies, irritation, and wounds. And as you read further, you will know about all of them in detail.

Usually, water minimizes the irritation caused by allergies and removes the pollen or foreign bodies from the eyes. Therefore, when foreign particles attach to the eyes of your pet, it starts watering.

Reddish-Brown Tear Stains

Reddish-brown tear stains are most common in English Golden Retrievers because of their lighter skin coat. Sometimes these breeds develop a reddish-brown discoloration in the areas near the inner eye cornea. Thus, tear stains replace the light-golden hair in those areas.

Further, your Golden Retriever’s tears contain a pigment called porphyrin. So, due to this pigment, the tears become reddish-brown when exposed to the air for a longer time.

However, these tear stains are only a cosmetic concern with no prominent signs of eye problems in your pet’s eye.

A Little Goop Or Crust

As we know, water drains from the tear duct are present in the eye corner. But sometimes, accumulated goop or cust blocks this duct. Like eye cust of humans, this goop also forms during the night and is most evident in your pal’s eye every morning.

Although, cust or loop is very natural and contains dried tears, dead cells, oil, and mucus. However, it might be a fatal eye problem when you ignore swelling, redness, pawing, and blinking. So, immediately consult with the Vet when you observe such signs.

How Can You Know Your Golden Retriever’s Eye Is Watering?

Eye disorders in your Golden Retriever can be very uncomfortable. And it may surprise you. But sometimes, owners fail to recognize the subtle signs of eye problems until they become a fatal health hazard.

Therefore, I want you to understand when and why your Golden Retriever’s eye is watering. And when you need to consult a doctor for your pal’s watering eyes. For this, here are some common signs that will tell you when your pal is suffering from a fatal eye problem:

  • Frequent sneezing 
  • Excessive pawing in the eye
  • Squinting
  • Dampness or wetness under the eye
  • Skin infections or rashes
  • Red-eye
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Smelly eye discharge
  • Excessive eye discharge.

Is your pet showing these symptoms? 

If yes, talk to the Vet as soon as possible about this issue.

Why Is My Golden Retriever’s Eye Watering?

Usually, watering is a term for the clear discharge from Golden Retriever’s eye. Further, the watering eye has no relation with the happiness or sadness of your pal. And unlike humans, dogs don’t shed tears to express their emotions.

Moreover, Golden Retriever’s watering eye indicates allergic reaction or presence of foreign particles (like eyelashes). Besides this, there are many more causes of your pet’s eye-watering. And they are:


Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the tissue lining that covers the eyes of your Golden Retriever. Sometimes this eye problem results from other health issues, such as ear infections, parasitic infections, cancer, allergies, eye injury, etc.

Further, as the tissues swell, it affects the tear duct of your pet. Thus, due to the defect in the tear duct, your Golden Retriever’s eye starts watering.


Epiphora is an eye condition in which your Golden Retriever’s eye starts watering excessively due to lacrimal obstruction, reflex tearing, eyelid malposition, etc. Along with tears, you can also observe light sensitivity, soreness, redness, swollen eyelids, etc., in the eyes of your pal.

Corneal Ulcer

Golden Retrievers are the best playing companion for kids. And they play recklessly throughout the day. So, eye injuries and trauma are common in these dogs.

Further, trauma affects the outer layer of your dog’s eye that leads to corneal ulcers. Besides this, some genetic disorders like Epithelial Dystrophy may also result in a corneal ulcer.

In addition, this health condition also affects your Golden Retriever’s eye tissues, leading to irritation and watering.


Golden Retriever is a friendly and energetic dog breed. So, they are constantly out playing, jumping, or running. Besides this, their thick skin coat can catch various infectious particles that may cause an allergic reaction.

Further, the allergic reaction affects your Golden Retriever’s eye. Thus, their eye starts watering and reddening.

Irritants Or Trauma

Since Golden Retrievers are a sensitive dog breed, they are prone to trauma or irritants. Human products such as household chemicals, dust, smoke, fumes of vehicles, etc., are harmful to your pet. And thus, these cause redness, itching, frequent pawing, and inflammation near the eyes of your pal.

Along with this, the irritants or trauma also affect the tear duct of your pal. Hence, it leads to watering of your Golden Retriever’s eye.

Blocked Tear Ducts

Usually, the tear ducts present in the corner of your Golden Retriever’s eye are responsible for storing the fluids. So, obstruction in the nasolacrimal ducts halts the usual draining process of the tears.

So, unlike the natural process, the fluid present in the dog’s eye starts overflowing. Thus, your Golden Retriever’s eye starts watering.


Glaucoma is a fatal eye condition due to an increase in your Golden Retriever’s eye pressure. Besides this, it also affects the optic nerve of your pal. Thus, it obstructs the regular functions of the eyes, like eye movement.

Furthermore, due to the excessive pressure in the eye, you will observe red-eye, swollen areas around the eye, or itchiness.

Along with this, glaucoma also damages the tear duct of your pal. As a consequence, you will notice watering or drainage from your Golden Retriever’s eye.


Entropion is a condition where your Golden Retriever’s eyelids roll inward. Then, it starts rubbing around the cornea that causes irritation and redness in your pal’s eye.

So, to reduce the friction and relief the immense pain, Golden Retriever’s eye starts watering.


Distichiasis is an eye condition where the eyelashes of your Golden Retriever grow in an abnormal direction due to genetics. Thus, this may affect the entire row of eyelashes.

In addition, this eye condition irritates the eyes of your pet. Hence, your pet’s eyes start watering to minimize the pain caused by irritation.

However, this genetic eye problem is common only in dog breeds with longer hair coats like Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Boxer, Spaniel, etc.

Poor Diet And Stress

Since the metabolism of dogs differs from humans, the food you eat is harmful to Golden Retrievers. Some human foods have an allergic reaction in your pal’s body that may lead to constipation, eye diseases, bloating, or diarrhea. Further, due to eye disease, your Golden Retriever’s eye starts watering.

Besides this, Golden Retrievers are high-maintenance dog breeds. Therefore, they need a peaceful environment with moderate temperatures for a good life. So, the stress in the environment may degrade their health that may lead to eye infections and watering-eye.


If you are parenting a Golden Retriever puppy, the teething period is a crucial time. Your pet might show behavioral changes like aggression, chewing, biting, or nipping when teeth start to grow. Besides this, watering from your Golden Retriever’s eye is very common during the teething phase.

Therefore, you should be very cautious when your Golden Retriever’s eyes start watering. However, if you suspect health issues in your pet, it is best to consult with the Vet as soon as possible.

Do you know when watering becomes fatal?

Is Watering Eye Of Your Golden Retriever Serious?

Sometimes, owners try to ignore the minor health issues of their pets. Furthermore, with time these issues become advance and lead your Golden Retriever to death bed.

Besides this, watering from your Golden Retriever’s eye is also an indication of some hazardous diseases like cancer. Therefore, you need to know the severity of this disease.

However, your Golden Retriever’s watering eye depicts a fatal health problem when it shows the following signs:

  • Vision problem
  • No response when you call your pal.
  • Yellow or green eye discharge
  • Release of foul-smelling fluid from eyes
  • Redness and swelling in the areas around the eye
  • Aggression
  • Frequent barking
  • Restlessness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Appetite loss
  • Hides in a darker place

Whenever your pal shows these signs, you should know its health problem has become fatal. Thus, it needs immediate treatment. Otherwise, you may lose your pet.

Do you want to lose your lovely furry friend? 

Consult with the Vet and treat your pet as soon as you observe these signs.

How To Diagnosis A Golden Retriever’s Watering Eye?

Diagnosis of your Golden Retriever’s eye needs experience and scientific equipment. So, you must take your pal to the Vet to diagnose the cause and severity of their eye condition.

Further, the Vet follows the following procedure to inspect your Golden Retriever’s eye:

Examination Of Your Golden Retriever’s Watering Eyes

As we know, there are many reasons why your Golden Retriever’s eye is watering. Therefore, to depict the actual cause, the Vet conducts an eye examination studying the tear ducts, eyelids, retina, cornea, etc., of your pet’s eye.

After a complete ophthalmic checkup, the Vet knows about the severity of the condition and gives medication accordingly.

Schirmer Tear Test

This test is the examination of tears in your pal’s eyes. Usually, the Vet puts a small test strip near your Golden Retriever’s tear duct.

However, your pal may lose a lot of tears due to watering. So, to know the measure of fluid in your pet’s eye, the Vet performs this test. Besides this, the medication given after this test prevents excessive watering from your Golden Retriever’s eye and mitigates chances of dry-eye.

Fluorescein Dye Test

Fluorescein dye gives a clear picture of the severity and extent of damage in your Golden Retriever’s eye. Along with this, the Vet can also detect corneal ulcers and scratches in your pal’s eye through this yellow-green dye.

After putting the fluorescein dye in your Golden Retriever’s eye, the Vet analyzes the affected areas in black light. And thus, he gives medication according to the location and extent of the damage.


Tonometry helps to detect the eye pressure of your Golden Retriever. Usually, this test detects glaucoma and its severity.

For this, the Vet anesthetizes the eye surface of your pal first. Then, he uses a tonometer that bounces back and forth to detect eye pressure. After that, the Vet takes several readings and finally concludes the average reading as the internal eye pressure of your dog.

Blood Examination

Watering from your Golden Retriever’s eye doesn’t always indicate eye problems. Sometimes various health hazards (like cancer, diabetes, thyroid disorders, ear infections, etc.) might also be the causing factor. Therefore, to know about the health condition of your Golden Retriever, a blood examination is essential.

Further, after a blood examination, the Vet knows about your pet’s health and disease conditions. So, it will be easier for the Vet to give suggestions and medications.

How often do you visit the Vet for health suggestions? 

Don’t you think they give the best ideas for your Golden Retriever’s care?

How To Treat Your Golden Retriever’s Watering Eye?

According to the cause of your Golden Retriever’s eye problem, there are some treatments. But you should take a prescription or consult with the Vet before treating your pal.

However, I suggest treating your Golden Retriever’s watering eyes under professional supervision. So, some of the treatment methods are:


Eye problems like distichiasis and entropion require surgery. But the surgical procedure is the last option for most eye problems after the failure of other treatments.

Further, surgery is the most complex and risky treatment procedure with some harmful side effects. Therefore, you need to treat your pal with some medication to avoid the adverse effect and prevent relapse of the eye problem.

Flushing The Eye

Flushing the eye is the most common treatment for removing excess fluid from the eye. Usually, it treats the issues like conjunctivitis, dacryocystitis, etc. Moreover, you can use sterile water or saline solution with prescribed antibiotics for flushing your pal’s eye.

Furthermore, sometimes this treatment needs surgery to create a new drainage pathway to release the accumulated fluid.

Oral Medication

When your Golden Retriever’s watering eye is a secondary effect of some other health issues, the Vet prescribes oral medication. Thus, those medicines treat the underlying health issues to resolve your pet’s eye problems.

The oral medications prescribed for watering eyes are anti-inflammatory agents and are safe for dogs. However, the Vet prescribes this treatment when topical medications are ineffective.

Topical Medication

Antibiotic eye drops, ointments, eye cleaners, etc., comes under topical medication. Usually, the Vet recommends this treatment for minor eye issues. And you need to apply these medications in your Golden Retriever’s eye thrice a day.

Further, the most common components of topical medications are antibiotics, analgesics, dilators, and artificial tears.

However, although these treatments cure your pet’s eye problem, their longer and regular use are harmful to your pet. So, you should consult with the Vet regarding the dose, periods, and mitigation measures of the side effects for your Golden Retriever’s healthier lifespan.

How To Prevent Your Golden Retriever’s Eye From Watering?

Golden Retrievers love their owners a lot. Thus, it is your responsibility to protect your pal from various health issues.

Besides this, vision is vital for both humans and animals. So, be careful about your pet’s eye care. Hence, some tips to prevent your Golden Retriever’s eye from watering are:

  • Give regular bathe to your Golden Retriever. And wash their hair at least once a month.
  • Cleaning the teeth of your pal is essential during the teething period. So, brush their teeth at least thrice a week with qualitative toothpaste and toothbrush.
  • Trim the long and unwanted hairs around the eyes, ears, paws, and tail of your dog. But don’t shave them.
  • Frequently clean the ears of your Golden Retriever.
  • Always use soft cotton eye wipes to clean the cust in your pet’s eye.
  • Focus on a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle of your pal.
  • Ensure adequate training. And always give your pet healthy natural snacks as treats.
  • If you want to protect the eyes, your pal’s paws must be clean. So, clean your pet’s paw after playing or exercise.
  • Always supervise your pet. And check the eyes, paw pads, legs, and skin coat of your pet when it returns home from the playground.
  • Keep your house clean and maintain a peaceful environment.
  • Brush the skin coat of your dog regularly. Take your pet for professional grooming.
  • Frequently visit the Vet for health checkups and suggestions.

How To Clean Your Golden Retriever’s Eye?

The eyes are the sensitive organ of a Golden Retriever. So, you need to be very conscious and attentive when you clean your pet’s eyes.

Therefore, I have some tips for cleaning the eyes of your pal to help you:

  1. Decide a comfortable position for your pet. I usually adjust my pet between my legs to avoid movement. So, you can try that.
  2. Remove the tear stains from your pet’s eyes using a good cleanser (like  TropiClean Spa Tear Stain Cleanser for Dogs).
  3. Properly come the hair around your pet’s eyes and remove the chunk. You can use Dog Comb – Tear Stain Remover or Mindful Pets Tear Stain Remover Combs for brushing the hair.
  4. Trim and clean the hair around your pet’s eyes. Grooming kits like Ceenwes Dog Clippers grooming toolsPet Grooming Clipper KitsSminiker Professional Grooming Kit, etc., can help you groom like a professional.
  5. Due to watering, your Golden Retriever’s eye may become dry. Thus, eyewash can moisturize the eyes. Moreover, the eyewashes available in the market are Vetericyn Plus All Animal Eye WashNutri-Vet Eye Rinse for DogCliny Universal Pet Eye Wash Cleaner, etc.
  6. Always be patient while your clean your pal’s eye. Don’t forget to give treats to your pet after completion.

I hope these tips were helpful for your per too.

Being a needy dog, Golden Retriever relies on you for its happiness. Therefore, you should be very careful while deciding about their diet, training sessions, and care.

Summing up, your pet can be your best friend. And when you give time and effort for your pal’s care, you can make millions of memories.

I think this article can help you to bond stronger with your pet.

Do you have any suggestions and queries regarding your dog’s eye care?

Please mention them in the comments.

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