What caused the green gooey discharge in my maltese poodle dog's eyes?

by Marius Svenik

When my maltese poodle got older, he developed all kinds of ailments. First he went almost totally deaf, then he got very blind, then he started walking around in circles with this green gooey discharge completely overtaking his eyes.

Reading up on these symptoms felt very disheartening: People online were saying that the walking around in circles is caused by dementia setting in as the dog gets old. Very sad, and also probably not much I can do about that.

As for the green gunk coming out his eyes and then hardening and forming a crust so hard, the poor creature cannot open his eyes in the morning when he wakes up, I read that a dog's eyes is a window into his health, and that such discharge probably means a problem with his health elsewhere in the body.

Where though?

Meanwhile I tried to treat the eye symptoms. Is it an eye infection? I got some eye ointment at the pharmacy and applied it. Didn't seem to have much if any effect.

I take him to the vet. Unfortunately the vet I wanted wasn't available so this very young female vet had a look at him. She claims it's dry eyes and gives me some eye drops to drop into his eyes twice a day.

Does it help? Maybe slightly, but only for a short while, and later on in the day the eyes are crusted over again and completely filled with gunk.

I try washing the animal every day or two, rinsing the eyes out properly. This gives the doggy relief for the rest of the day, but when he goes to sleep, the goo keeps coming and by morning the poor animal's eyes are crusted shut again.

Meanwhile the animal keeps looking weaker and weaker, and sometimes walks with his lower body slightly tucked in and his back arched. Is it dried out poo in his arse? Seems like it because sometimes the poo come out completely dried out already, asif it's 3 day old poo. I give him some cooking oil to drink for this, which seems to bring relief. Even more relief comes when he eats the chicken bones of chicken that was spiced with chilli. In fact, it seems he shoots the crap out of his ass like a watercanon. So I'm glad his exhaust system is cleaned out.

And yet, it seems his condition worsens. He sleeps all day and where previously by late afternoon it seemed he got a little life back into him, probably as his supper time approached, he now seems very lifeless at all times. Is it just his time to go soon?

Finally one day the problem would start showing itself. But I didn't know it is a sign of the problem at first:

I find a small drop of blood on the floor close to the dog. At first I didn't think much of it, but I decided to have a look anyway.

Turns out he has a little tear in his scrotum. Must be that the other dogs stepped on him as he was laying on the ground, or maybe he scraped himself on something sharp.

A few days later I have a look again. The small wound isn't healing. I decide to spray it with those antiseptic wound sprays you buy at the supermarket, just so that the flies don't lay their eggs in it and the wound gets overrun with maggots.

Some more days pass and instead of healing, it seems the wound still bleeds at times. How is this possible? Why didn't any healing take place at all?

And is it my imagination or is there some stinky but somehow funky smell around it?

I didn't like it one bit. I decide to give it just another day or two and then take him to the vet. I just hate taking such an old animal to the vet, because veterinary attention is very expensive and exactly how much time does it buy me with my dog anyway when my dog could die from old age at any time, even if he's not sick?

But eventually I decide to take the animal to the vet anyway. This time I get to see the vet I wanted, and thank goodness for that. This guy is about 60 or so years old, and just seems more knowledgable and more experienced in the matter of animal matters of health, than that young chick whose diagnoses and treatments have never seemed to be spot on.

The vet takes one look and says it's not a wound, it's a tumor. He also gives me the name of it but I don't remember it.

The tumor will have to be removed. The dog must stay overnight and the vet will perform the operation in the morning. He does warn that such an old and weak animal might not survive the anesthesis, but without the operation the dog will die anyway because that open tumor is going to become infected and it will go into his spine and kill the animal. So we might as well do the operation.

And so, the next day it is done. I pick up the dog in the afternoon. The vet says the tumor had already started going into one of the testicles, and he ended up removing both testicles and some flesh to be sure. In ten days I must remove the stitches the wound is sewn shut with.

Although weak, it becomes obvious the dog has a new lease on life. He even walks better now, not with his back arched and his lower body tucked in as much as he used to. It's obvious that tumor already caused him some discomfort if not pain, even before the tumor was visible on his exterior.

And, as a bonus, as if a tap has been turned off, the green gooey gunk that plagued his eyes simply isn't there anymore, aside from the normal amount that animals have anyway, which is minimal.

So in conclusion, I'd say it is true that the animal's eyes is an indicator of his health, and that this eye gunk problem indicated that he has a tumor developing in his body.

So if your animal has green gunk discharging from his eyes in such an amount that it crusts his eyes over and he can't see where to walk, most likely there's another health problem brewing somewhere inside him.

Sometimes as it was in this case, you may be lucky and see the problem reveal itself on the animal's exterior. And hopefully it's somewhere like in the scrotum where it can be cut away without spoiling the overall physical appearance of your animal.


Although the removal of the tumor helped and for a time the animal looked much healthier again, after some time he started doing poorly again and he died about three months after that operation.

He had lived to be almost 19 years old, which I am told by many is a very long time for a maltese poodle. The last 6 months of his life was utter hell though because I felt guilty for letting him live and guilty for thinking of killing him to end his miserable life of deafness and blindness.

The last week or so he wasn't really eating anymore either, for some reason unbeknownst to me but it did not surprize me, considering how he was really becoming completely helpless and also stopped trying to get out of bed to pee and poo. I'd find him in his own excrement and urine in the morning, and would have to wash him every morning.

Thank goodness he showed me the courtesy of dying while I was out to the shops. I let him out on the lawn the morning and then I went to the shops, and when I came back he was lying peacefully on the lawn, departed and free of his earthly body.

I say it was kind of him to leave while I wasn't home, because a previous maltese poodle I had owned, came to the end of his life and I had to experience the painful, slow process of him dying in my arms, feeling like my heart is being ripped out. I don't think I had the strength for that severe emotional trauma this time around.

Doesn't mean I loved this one any less. Why do we let these fluffy creatures steal our hearts so?