Can dogs have lazy eyes?

Can Dogs Have Lazy Eyes? 5 Common Causes

You may notice that your dog’s eyes don’t always function in unison when you stare into them. Objects may be tracked in a different way, or they may be pointed in completely different directions. Lazy eye is a medical ailment that may look like a pretty face, but it may really be a sign of a more serious problem. dogshint, a veterinarian, will discuss the causes and treatment of canine lazy eye.

Puppies are some of the most gorgeous, awake, and innocent eyes anyone has ever seen.

It’s as if you can move the earth for them just by looking at them.

Like these cute tiny critters are aware of this and use it as an escape mechanism.

Can dogs have lazy eyes?

Strabismus can also be caused by damage to the eye muscles’ nerves. In addition, a disorder of the vestibular system may be detected in the dog. The dog’s (and ours) sense of balance is provided by the vestibular system, which is located in the inner ear.

Can dogs have lazy eyes?

Why does my dog suddenly have a lazy eye?

Injuries or trauma, vestibular illnesses of the brainstem, tumors or polyps, ear infections, and hydrocephalus can all cause your dog to develop a lazy eye all at once. It’s possible that your puppy’s lazy eye is inherited if you observe it in him.

What is a lazy eye?

Cross-eyed dogs may occur in both canines and humans. There are particular breeds of dog that are more prone to this.

It’s a condition known as “lazy eye.” At the same moment, the eyes are looking in various directions.

This condition is known as strabismus in the medical community.

How lazy eye occurs

The eyes of a dog usually move in unison in all directions.

But what’s going on in the mind?

The eyes of animals have six muscles that control the movement of the eye. As a general rule, muscles are classified as follows:

Rectus muscles

Anterior and lateral are the only two that don’t make up the entire group.

Using the first two, the eyes are able to travel upward and downward. The final two images cause the viewer’s eyes to swivel.

Oblique muscles

Superior and inferior oblique muscles make up this structure. Circular eye movements are made possible by them (clockwise and anticlockwise).

Retractor muscles

The eyeball is not controlled by these muscles. Rather, they allow for the swiveling of the eyelids.


The eyes function normally when these muscles are in good functional order. There is a synchronized movement between them.

However, a lazy eye can develop when one or more muscles fail. The lazy eyelid of a dog is caused by a malfunction of the dog’s retractor muscles.

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There will be no pain or discomfort felt by your dog. It’s possible that other symptoms may arise from the lazy eye’s underlying causes.

The misalignment of the afflicted eye is further classified as a lazy eye:

  • Hypertropia – the eye’s gaze stays upwards.
  • Hypotropia – the eye’s gaze stays downwards.
  • Convergent – the eye’s gaze is toward the nose.
  • Divergent – the eye’s gaze is toward the edge of the face.


When your dog’s eyes are looking in different directions, you know something is wrong. Sleepy eye isn’t the only sign of a dog with lazy eyes.

There is a problem with one or both of the eyeballs.
Inability to keep both eyes on the same object at the same time.
Being able to control one eye but not the other.

Let us now investigate how a dog acquires a lazy eye…

What causes dogs to suddenly become inactive?

1: Inherited

It’s possible that your dog’s sluggish eye is a genetic trait.

This eye condition is more common in certain dogs than others. Including:

Shar Pei is the Chinese name for me.
The Irish Wolfhound is a breed of dog native to Ireland.
A Golden Retriever puppy.

It is possible for pugs to have sluggish eyes. In contrast, Boston Terriers are susceptible to developing lazy eyes. Even more so the divergent kind.

One or both eyes may twitch uncontrollably in these dogs, which is a result of a weak muscle.

Some puppies are born with this condition. Others will work on it in the future.

2: Vestibular system problems

What is the vestibular system?

Standing is not an issue for your dog. Their vestibular system is to thank for this benefit.

The middle and inner ear are home to the device’s sensors and amplifiers. At the rear of the brain, there is a control center.

How things actually function is as follows.

Let’s imagine that your dog is standing and staring ahead. This posture of the head is detected by the balance sensors.

Electrical impulses are delivered to the brain from the information.

This information is sent to the control center. In order to keep the dog upright, the brain sends a signal to the body.

When your dog’s head moves, the control center sends signals to the muscles that govern the eyes. As the head moves, the brain instructs the muscles to adjust the position of the eyes.

When there are issues with the vestibular system, bad things are about to happen. Vestibular illness might cause laziness of vision. Among the symptoms are:

The inclination of the cranium.
Falling down.
jerky motions of the eyes (nystagmus).

Age-related hearing loss is more frequent in canines than it is in humans. So it’s also known as “old dog vestibular syndrome”.


Vestibular illness is caused by a variety of factors. However, there are other possibilities:

Polyps or tumors.
Persistent infections within the inner ear canal.
The skull has been damaged.
Some of the adverse effects of using antibiotics.
People who have problems with their balance.

Idiopathic vestibular syndrome is the medical term for a condition for which there is no recognized etiology.

3: Injuries

Your dog’s sudden sluggish eye might be caused by an injury.

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Injuries to the head and eye damage are especially hazardous. These injuries are caused by falling or being in a car collision.

These medications may cause a lazy eye as a side effect.

Lazy eye is also caused by a zygomatic bone fracture.

When the skull and jawbone are connected, this bone serves as a bridge.

4: Tumors

The unexpected appearance of a lazy eye in your dog may be the result of tumors. cancers affecting the eyes, ocular nerves, or the brainstem in particular


Close to or inside the eyeball, tumors can develop. The ocular muscles are placed under strain by them.

When this occurs, the muscles are unable to function properly. Because of this, the eye jerks around.


The ability to maintain a steady equilibrium is a function of the brainstem. It’s also where the eye-movement-controlling nerves come from.

As a result, a dog’s balance may be affected and one of its eyes may become lazy.


As a result of orbital tumors, the eyeball protrudes outward. It causes the conjunctiva and cornea to enlarge, causing the eyelid to droop.

Tumors of the orbit impair the ability of the afflicted eye to move with the other.

5: Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus may also be a factor in the development of lazy eyes.

However, pups seem to be the most often affected.

A accumulation of fluid in the brain is referred to as hydrocephalus.

The researchers saw 564 dogs with hydrocephalus in their study. They discovered that 11 breeds were at a high danger of becoming extinct.

The following breeds belonged to this group:

Poodle in miniature form.
Lhasa Apso is a breed of Tibetan dog.
The Cairn Terrier
The Boston Terrier is a breed of dog.
The English Bulldog.
The Yorkshire Terrier.

Another research found that a lazy eye is a prevalent indication of hydrocephalus. The eyes are strained as a result of the extra fluid in the brain cavities.

Divergent strabismus, or the tendency to glance in two distinct directions at the same time, was also noted in numerous brachycephalic breeds, according to the researchers.

Bonus: Otitis media-interna

A condition known as otitis media-interna refers to inflammation of both the middle and inner ear (interna).

As the disease progresses, so do its symptoms. However, the following are a few of the signs:

The inclination of the cranium.
The trembling of the brain.
The inability to eat.
Swinging from side to side.
The ear canal is filled with fluid.
Opening the mouth causes discomfort.
Ear scratching using your fingers.
Gum, tonsil, or throat inflammation.
Affecting the ear by stooping or rolling in that direction
An unwillingness to stand or a predilection for a squat.

In most cases, bacterial infections are to blame for middle and inner ear inflammation. Besides that, there are many other factors at play.

Polyps and tumors.
There is an excessive amount of ear cleaning.
Occupying nations (for example, foxtail).

Some breeds of dogs, such as the following:

They’re called Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Dogs with long ears, such as Cocker Spaniels and other similar breeds.
Poodles with ear or throat infections.

Can dogs have lazy eyes?

How can I fix my lazy eye at home?

Because your stronger eye is blurred, you’ll have to work more to improve the vision in your weaker eye.

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Wearing an eye patch, having special corrective glasses, using eye drops, adding a Bangerter filter to spectacles, or even surgery can be used to cure this problem.

How do you fix a child’s lazy eye?

The Treatment for Amblyopia

Glasses. When amblyopia is caused by significant refractive errors or anisometropia, glasses are given (when one eye sees more clearly than the other). …

Protective eyewear. Amblyopia often necessitates the use of an eye patch on the child’s better or unaffected eye. …

Drops of atropine are available.

What does lazy eye look like?

Lazy eye is characterized by a tendency for the eye to stray inside or outward. There is a disconnection between the eyes. Lack of ability to accurately judge depth.

Can Puppies Outgrow Lazy Eye?

As a muscular disorder, it’s reasonable to assume that the muscles involved in lazy eye will become stronger with time.

Patching the healthy eye helps to strengthen the weak one in persons, who have this condition.

This isn’t the best option for dogs, unfortunately. For starters, if you accidentally cause an accident by covering one eye, you’ve done more harm than good.

An amblyopic dog might be suffering from a neurological condition.

Putting a patch over his eye won’t get to the source of the issue. Worse worse, it might lead to other issues for the youngster in the future.

In other words, the youngster must first be treated for whatever ails him.

Other than that, the problem will not be fixed. The disease will only become worse if you don’t receive treatment.

However uncommon, the issue may be resolved on its own. In moderate cases, this can happen. It’s possible that the puppy’s ocular muscles were somewhat messed with by an accident. In the long run, they’ll get their bearings back on track.

There are just a handful puppies in the world who are so fortunate. Strabismus is a condition that affects a large number of people.


Every pet owner hopes that his or her dog will outgrow a lazy eye.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case all that frequently. It’s best to seek the advice of a specialist.

Thanks to early detection and treatment, your dog has a good chance of living a long and happy life.

Princy Hoang
See more articles in this category: Dogs

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