Friday, January 28, 2011

Pug eye injuries: They can happen in the blink of an eye

Action shot as Liam hurts his eye while eating
Pugs have eyes that protrude slightly, sitting in shallow eye sockets. Since their muzzles are short, they are often placing their eyes right next to food, plants and anything else they might be eating or sniffing. While I don't have any research to back me up, I also believe that pugs have a high pain tolerance and have become accustomed to mild eye pain. This means they often don't work to protect their eyes from injuries.

Case in point: Liam started winking and blinking early yesterday morning, right after breakfast. He seemed to get worse, rather than better, as time went on, so I took him in for an unscheduled visit to the veterinarian.

Turns out, he had a mild case of uveitis, and I was a little perplexed.

The staff figured he had hit or bumped the eye somehow, but I didn't remember anything like this happening. I'm very careful with Liam's eyes and his face, and he doesn't go outside unless I am right there to supervise. He just couldn't run into anything or poke his eye with anything without me noticing.

But then I figured it out.

I got home to feed him lunch, and then I saw the injury for myself.

Liam is a fast eater, so I use a small bowl to slow him down. But Liam doesn't want to eat slowly, and he's developed a painful workaround.

He's been shoving his face into the edges of the food bowl to get every last bit of food that he can. See that photo? See how his eye is being smushed? Eye pain be damned! He was going to get every bit of food and deal with the consequences later.

Now he has a new food bowl to use, and I have a reminder of my responsibilities. If he isn't going to care for his eyes, I am going to have to be more careful.

As are most pug people. Their little eyes are so sensitive, and even tiny injuries can turn into big problems. They depend on us!