Copyrighted Susan Dunivant
The best way to develop and maintain good eye health in the Kerry Blue (or any breed with profuse hair around the eyes) is to adhere to a regimen of gentle cleaning as the puppy matures.
A simple mild solution of boric acid and water is a wonderful rinse for cleaning eyes. The boric acid solution is made by dissolving ¼ teaspoon boric acid in ½ cup boiling water. Cool and store in the refrigerator. This solution keeps for about a week. There are also special solutions formulated, which are available through the Vet or dog supply catalogs.
Invest in some disposable cosmetic pads, or cotton balls to sponge the rinse on. The idea is to gently clean the eye area, don’t rub the eyes hard, of the accumulated exudent particularly noticeable in the morning after the puppies evening sleep. Depending upon how hard the puppy plays, and how much dirt he/she gets in the eyes, another wash should be undertaken before lights out.
Puppy eyes water profusely during teething, and any dust or dirt is attracted to the damp areas, including bacteria, which can cause conjunctivitis if, allowed to remain on a prolonged basis. After the puppy finishes teething the cornea of the eye is still not hardened to the extent it will be upon maturity, so it is STILL necessary to keep the eyes clean. Remember, young Kerries with immature falls have those brush mugs which act just like a dust mop…until the fall lengthens, it’s much easier for the dust to enter the eye. As your Kerry gets older, you’ll find you will only need to do very minor cleaning of exudent from the inside corners, perhaps a bit more during high allergy seasons. Dogs with longer hair around the eyes (Kerries, Shih Tzus, Beadies, etc.,) just require more maintenance… it comes with the territory.
If the puppy’s eyes do not show immediate improvement after a few days of the cleaning regimen, the condition may have already worsened to conjunctivitis (the old “pink eye”) and a veterinarian visit for an antibiotic eye medication is indicated.
I am convinced that scrupulous early eye hygiene will result in good healthy eyes for the dog’s entire life.
(Editor’s Note: Always check with your dog’s veterinarian before using any medication on your Kerry.)