Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. When dogs are dehydrated their eyes can appear sunken, it could also be related to an infection. If the dog is otherwise bright and eating, drinking normally then I would monitor. If it continues or there are other symptoms then see your vet as soon as possible.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Traumatic Eye Injury

The eye is usually painful. Also, painful eye conditions such as uveitis, conjunctivitis, and the presence of eye ulcers may trigger the dog`s retractor bulbi muscles to retract the eye globe back into its socket as a protective measure.

When a dog squints it is actually using an eyeball muscle that pulls the eye further into the head and out of harm`s way. A sunken eye is normally an indication of pain. Dry eyes, scratches on the eye or having something in the eye can cause discomfort that leads to retraction.
Depending on the cause, treatment can include removing the irritant and soothing the area with pain medication, antibiotics and saline washes to manage infection, surgery to treat duct problems or birth defects, antihistamines for allergies, or other medications.
What is a weeping eye? It`s normal for dogs to create tears, just like it is for humans. These tears act as a natural lubricant for the eye and ensure that no debris collects on the surface of the eye.
Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelid. Blepharitis can affect one or both eyes. The affected eyelid will usually be red, swollen, and itchy. The dog may squint or blink spasmodically (called blepharospasm).
Having sunken eyes as a result of aging or genetics isn`t dangerous and shouldn`t cause any other problems. Negative changes to someone`s appearance, however, can trigger emotional reactions. Poor self-esteem and lower confidence can eventually lead to depression or anxiety.
Your dog may have simply received a face full of pollen or dust, and the increased tear production is working to solve the problem. But if their eyes continue to be watery or your dog develops red, painful eyes or other types of eye discharge, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Yellow or Green Discharge: If your dog has yellow or green eye discharge, it`s likely an eye infection, especially if the eyes are also red or swollen. Eye infections can cause serious complications if left untreated, so seek veterinary care right away.
Unfortunately, you would be mistaken to think that the same eye drops you use are suitable for dogs. You should not use human eye drops on dogs. If your dog is experiencing eye irritation, contact your vet and take them in to get an eye examination and possibly eye drops that are safe for dogs.
Certain breeds of dogs are known for having a `normally` increased eye discharge. Rottweilers and English Bulldogs have more goopy eye discharge and small breed dogs such as Toy Poodles and Chihuahuas often have a brownish or clear discharge.
Surgery may be used to enlarge the opening to the duct, remove tumors that are compressing the duct, or remove foreign material from the duct. In more severe cases, a stent may be placed to allow flow through the lacrimal duct.
Horner`s syndrome is a common neurological disorder of the eye and facial muscles. The condition usually occurs suddenly and typically affects one side of the head but can be bilateral (affect both sides of the head) in rare cases.
Horner syndrome is a rare condition classically presenting with partial ptosis (drooping or falling of upper eyelid), miosis (constricted pupil), and facial anhidrosis (loss of sweating) due to a disruption in the sympathetic nerve supply.
Common signs of vestibular syndrome in dogs and cats include falling, head tilt (rotation of the head with one ear held lower than the other), flickering of the eyeball from side-to-side or up and down (nystagmus), general wobbliness (often with the animal drifting to one side as he moves around) and/or circling.
Brachycephalic Ocular Syndrome

Also known as Exposure Keratopathy Syndrome, this is a combination of disorders including protrusion of the eyeball (exophthalmos), inability to close the eyelids (lagophthalmos) and abnormally large eyelid openings (macroblepharon). Entropion may also be present.

Enophthalmos, or sunken eyes, happens when an eyeball moves backward in the eye socket (also called the “bony orbit”). Fractures in the orbital bones often leave one eye noticeably sunken compared to the other. That`s why traumas from fights and car crashes are among the likely causes of enophthalmos.
Phthisis bulbi is an clinical condition representing end-stage ocular response to severe eye injury or disease damage, related to a variety of causes leading to scarring, inflammation, scaring, atrophy and eventually disorganization of the globe and intraocular contents.
Hollow eyes run in families and are caused by a combination of deficient fat in the under eye areas and pigmentation. These do not go away without intervention. Says cosmetic surgeon Dr Vinod Vij, “Faulty food habits, prolonged fasting and starvations results into lack of nutrition as in severe long term illness.
One of the most common eye infections in dogs is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. Symptoms of conjunctivitis in dogs are similar to humans and include redness, inflammation and eye discharge. It can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction to smoke, pollen, perfume or other irritants.
Eye Changes

Dogs in pain will also frequently squint and may also paw at their eye(s) or drag them along the carpet or furniture. If their eyes are in pain, the affected eye(s) may also appear bloodshot.

One popular method is using a warm, damp cloth to gently clean and soothe the eye area. Another option is using a saline solution to flush out any irritants.
Eye injuries are common in dogs and vary greatly in severity. Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately upon noticing symptoms, as eye injuries can lead to permanent scarring or blindness. If there is a foreign object you can see, do not attempt to treat an eye injury at home without a professional veterinarian.
If your dog`s eyes are weeping, watering more than usual, or you notice yellow, green or white coloured discharge, they may have an eye infection. Other signs of eye infections in dogs include pawing at their eye, blinking more than usual, swelling, redness and squinting.
Common causes of tearing include allergies, dry eyes, inward or outward turning of the eyelids, as well as infection, narrowing, or blockage of the tear drainage pathway. Testing, if necessary, can often be done in an ophthalmologist`s office.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. My dog keep hacking like a cough or something in her throat, what can I do?
ANSWER : A. Hacking and coughing can be caused by a number of things ranging from foreign bodies such as twigs stuck in the mouth or throat, to infections or illnesses such as Bordetella or Kennel cough, common in dogs that frequent kennels, dog daycare or dog parks. In older dogs, heart and lung issues can also be indicated by a cough that does not go away.

If you think there may be a foreign object stuck in your dog’s throat, you can sweep a finger gently through the back of the mouth or throat if your dog will let you. If something feels stuck and is not easily moved by the finger, it is best to contact your vet to have the object safely removed. This usually requires sedation so that your dog does not become panicked or move, causing the object to become further stuck or cut the throat.

If your dog is showing other symptoms of illness in addition to the cough such as runny nose or eyes, fever, lethargy or changes in appetite, it may indicate a viral or bacterial illness such as kennel cough. These are usually treated with a cough medication in severe cases, plus rest and treatment of any additional symptoms until the condition improves. In bacterial causes, antibiotics may also be given to help your dog feel better.

If your dog has a constant cough that does not go away, or has had changes in ability to exercise, breathing, or appears to have swelling around the chest or abdomen, in may indicate a lung or heart issue. Your vet can thoroughly examine your dog for any signs of heart or lung problems and can then offer care as needed depending on the cause.

Q. My dog licks his feet and legs and they are turning brown. He is a white dog. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. Licking the feet and legs can be caused by a number of things in dogs including allergies, illness or even stress behaviors. Allergies are the most common in dogs, with yeast infections coming in second. Allergies can cause the area to become red and itching, making your dog want to lick and chew on them. Over time, the area may become stained from saliva, especially in lighter or white-coated dogs. Yeast infections are also common between the toes, and may cause a smelly “corn chip” smell to appear near your dog’s feet. Again, dogs will attempt to lick and chew to relieve the itch. Keeping the feet clean and dry can help relieve both allergies and infections and pet wipes or a baby wipe of all paws when your dog comes in from outdoors may also help. Keeping your dog from licking the space with either dog booties or an Elizabethan collar is also good as it will prevent secondary infection and staining of the paws and legs. If your dog is determined to keep licking and keeping the feet clean and dry do not help, then your vet can help by providing a medication to treat any infection or provide relief of allergies.

Q. How do I desensitize my dog to squirrels and stray cats in the neighborhood?
ANSWER : A. It depends on the goal that you have in mind. I am going to assume that you would prefer that your dog not chase squirrels or stray cats in the yard/street. In this case, your options include: (1) training your dog on a “Leave it ” cue using positive reinforcement methods, (2) training your dog not to pull on its leash when it sees a squirrel/stray cat, and (3) training your dog to perform a more desirable behavior when it sees a squirrel/cat.
Training your dog on a cued “leave it” command is useful because it will give you the ability to tell your dog to stay away from any number of undesirable objects on your command. Training your dog to perform a more desireable behavior when it sees a squirrel or cat will substitute a behavior you find acceptable (sitting, laying down, coming to the door, etc.) with a behavior you dislike. Your dog can still react, just in a positive way. If your dog pulls on the leash every time you see a squirrel/cat, training not to pull will make your walk safer and more pleasant.
The ideal training method to use with dogs, or any animal for that matter, is positive reinforcement training, particularly a method called “clicker- training.” The basic concept of positive reinforcement training is to pair a reward (reinforcement) with a behavior you want to increase in frequency. In other words, when your dog performs the behavior you desire, it receives an award, which reinforces the desired behavior so you get more of that behavior. There are many excellent books in stores or on-line that describe positive reinforcement training in detail and many give step-by-step instructions for training common commands like “leave it”. Look for books that specifically mention positive reinforcement training or clicker-training. You can also take dog training classes to learn the techniques, find a mentor who already uses clicker-training, or request a consult from one of the pet experts on this site to guide you.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. I was told by my vet that my dogs cherry eye was caused by something hitting his eye when he was poking around under a bush. I was told surgery needed
ANSWER : A. Prolapsed gland of the eyelid refers to a pink mass protruding from the animal’s eyelid; it is also called a “cherry eye.” Normally, the gland is anchored by an attachment made up of fibrous material. The most common sign of “cherry eye” is an oval mass protruding from the dogs’s third eyelid. It can occur in one or both eyes, and may be accompanied by swelling and irritation. He may have acquired it by getting an injury to his eye but this isn’t the case sometimes. Sometimes there is a weakness in the fibrous attachment.

The veterinarian will review the mass in the dog’s third eyelid and determine if there is an underlying cause for the condition. The diagnosis of the prolapsed gland could be scrolled or everted cartilage in the third eyelid, abnormal cells in the third eye, or a prolapse of fat in the dog’s eye.

Treatment often includes surgical replacement of the gland in the dog’s eye, or removal of the entire gland if the condition is severe. Conversely, if medications are recommended, they are typically topical anti-inflammatory drugs that are effective in reducing swelling.

Q. Want a pet cat companion for my dog Lucky, who is 5. The problem is that I’m somewhat alergic to cats. So, not sure what to do!
ANSWER : A. Dogs can make friends with lots of species, including cats! If you are heart-set on a cat, allergenic breeds are available such as hairless or lesser haired Sphinx and Devon-Rexes. However these breeds can be rare and hard to find at times. A short-haired cat that is brushed regularly may also cause less allergies. Many people with allergies are also able to take medications such as a daily allergy medication or spray like Nasocrom which can make living with a cat much easier.

If your dog is very friendly with other dogs, then getting him a dog friend may be an option! That would keep you from needing to get a cat and having an allergic reaction. Looking at your local animal shelter may help you to find a dog for adoption that is similar in personality and play style to your current dog. Many shelters will also let you introduce your dog to the one you are interested in adopting to see if they will be a good fit! If you can’t get another pet at this time, taking your dog to a local dog park or dog meetup can help him to get more social interaction and get out extra energy without the need for caring for another pet.