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Yorkie Eye Gunk: Why It happens & The Best Solution

Whether it’s tear staining or conjunctivitis, the sight of our beloved Yorkies with discharge or eye gunk around their eyes can be concerning.

The good news is that with a little knowledge and effort, we can take steps to prevent and treat this issue. I’ve done this before myself!

In this article, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about Yorkie eye gunk, including the causes, prevention tips, and when to seek veterinary care.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to keep our furry friends’ eyes clear and healthy.

yorkie eye discharge

Causes of Yorkie eye discharge

Yorkies have prominent eyes and long hair, which make them more prone to eye discharge.

The most common cause of eye gunk in Yorkies is due to tear staining, a condition that occurs when the tears don’t drain properly and build up around the eyes.

Tear staining can also be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Genetics
  • Allergies
  • Blocked tear ducts
  • Stress and anxiety.

Additionally, it can be exacerbated by the use of plastic food and water bowls or environmental irritants such as dust or pollen.

Yorkies and conjunctivitis

Another cause of eye discharge in Yorkies is conjunctivitis. This occurs when the lining of the eye becomes inflamed, leading to redness, irritation, and discharge.

Conjunctivitis can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, allergies, or irritants.

If you think your Yorkie has conjunctivitis, it’s important to take them to the vet for treatment.

Depending on the severity of the infection, your vet may prescribe eye drops or ointment, antibiotics, or other medication.

In some cases, conjunctivitis may be a symptom of an underlying health issue, so it’s important to have your Yorkie evaluated by a vet to ensure they receive the proper care and treatment.

How to prevent eye gunk in Yorkies

So, now that we know what causes eye gunk in Yorkies, let’s discuss how to prevent it.

Keep the area around the eyes clean

One of the best ways to prevent eye discharge is to keep the area around the eyes clean. Gently wipe away any excess discharge with a soft, damp cloth or cotton ball. Be sure to use a fresh cloth or cotton ball for each eye to prevent the spread of infection.

Use stainless steel bowls

Replace plastic food and water bowls with stainless steel ones. Plastic bowls can harbor bacteria, which can lead to eye infections and other health issues.

Avoid irritants

Avoid exposing your Yorkie to environmental irritants, such as dust or pollen, as much as possible. Additionally, keep your home clean and dust-free to prevent irritation.

Regular grooming

Regular grooming is essential for preventing eye discharge in Yorkies. Trim the hair around the eyes to prevent it from irritating the eyes or blocking the tear ducts. It’s also important to keep the fur around the eyes clean and free of tangles.

Balanced diet

Make sure your Yorkie is getting a balanced diet that includes essential vitamins and minerals. A well-nourished dog is less likely to develop eye discharge.

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When to see a vet about your Yorkie’s eye discharge

While prevention is key, it’s important to know when to seek veterinary care for your Yorkie’s eye discharge.

If the discharge is thick and yellow or green, your dog may have an infection that requires medical attention.

Other signs that your dog may need to see a vet include:

  • Fedness
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • If your dog seems to be in pain or discomfort.

My experience with this

As a Yorkie owner myself, I know how frustrating and worrisome eye gunk can be. My own Yorkie, Charlie, had this issue for a while, and it turned out to be caused by blocked tear ducts. After a visit to the vet and some medication, Charlie’s eyes cleared up and he hasn’t had any issues since.

Last thoughts

In summary, eye gunk is a common issue for Yorkies, but it can be prevented with regular grooming, a balanced diet, and avoiding irritants. If your dog does develop eye discharge, be sure to keep the area clean and watch for signs of infection. And, if in doubt, always seek veterinary care for your furry friend.


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.