Can Pugs Eyes Pop Out And How to Avoid Proptosis

Can Pugs eyes pop out? This is the question that all new Pug owners want to know. Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at this adorable breed and some of the health issues you can face as a new pet owner.

The short answer is that this dog is a brachycephalic breed or short-nosed breed with shallow eye-sockets. This breed is prone to proptosis, which means that the eyes can pop out if the skin is accidentally pulled too hard, or due to trauma.

What Is Pug Eye Proptosis?

Ocular proptosis is the protrusion or forward displacement of the eyeball, beyond the eyelid. Basically, it means that your dog’s eyelid will be dangling from the socket.

can pugs eyes pop out

This condition is due to them having big bulging eyes. Unfortunately, this condition affects most brachycephalic breeds such as English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Shih-Tzu,
and Pekingese.

It can look like something from a scene from a Halloween movie. The great thing is that it’s not as common as some people think.

We had Mindy our all black Pug for over 15 years and we NEVER had to deal with this issue. In fact, we never even knew about proptosis.

That being said, it is possible for your Pug’s eyes to fall out and that’s why I wanted to share this information with you. Just in case it does happen to your furbaby, you know what to do about it.

How Do I Protect My Pugs Eyes

As a pet owner, the best thing you can do is invest in Pug pet insurance and take your dog for full veterinary checkups to review and address the special needs of your pup.

It’s also important to learn how to care for your Pugs eyes to prevent injury, infection, or irritation. Caring for Fido’s eyes can protect them and you from ever having to deal with these issues.

How to Prevent Pug Eye Problems

If an eye health concern does arise, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian for further evaluation. Especially, if they have proptosis.

This solution doesn’t replace regular checkups from your veterinarian, but it can help you learn how to care for your Pug at home.

When grooming with a dog brush for Pugs or bathing with shampoo, and clipping Pugs nails it’s important to make sure that you prevent loose hairs or nails from entering the eyes.

We used the SleekEz Deshedding Brush on Mindy and it helped us keep her coat soft and shiny. Best of all, it helped control her shedding problem.

These guillotine nail trimmers make it so easy to clip their nails, without making them bleed.

Routinely clean your Pug’s eyes to remove debris, eye sleep (also referred to as rheum), bits of food, or any other types of discharge. This should be done at least once per day, if possible, you may want to clean their eyes 3x per day.

The fastest and most recommended method for keeping your Pug’s eye area clean is Arava Eye Stain Cleaner. It’s all natural aromatherapy that helps remove dirt and discharge around the eyes. It’s perfect for Pug’s because they tend to get crusty “sleepy” eyes a lot. (at least Mindy did)

Avoid smoking in the house (it can irritate their eyes) or using harmful cleaning products.

Pay attention to your pet’s eyes and if you notice anything unusual, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian. Any eye-related problems that are caught early can usually lead to a good prognosis.

What Causes A Dog’s Eye’s To Bulge?

Proptosis is a medical condition that is frequently associated with head trauma. However, this condition can occur in Pug’s if the facial skin is accidentally pulled too hard.

While it’s not as common as most people think, here are some of the symptoms. You’ll notice that your Pug won’t be able to close their eyelids, and the cornea will dry out and start to look leathery.

This is due to the mucous membrane (conjunctiva) becoming swollen. If left untreated it can cause your dog’s cornea to rupture and lead to other eye-related health issues.

How Often Do Pugs Eyes Pop Out

If you’re thinking about getting a Pug, you can rest assured that their eyes don’t easily pop out of their eye sockets. Their eyes are prone to health issues, but with daily cleaning and proper lubrication, there’s a very good chance that you won’t ever have to deal with proptosis.

Their bug eyes are what makes people fall in love with them. It usually only happens when pressure on the eyelid causes the eyeball to “pop” out of the socket. So if you have children, you’ll want to teach them how to handle your dog and to never play with their eyes.

How to Prevent Pugs Eyes From Popping Out

This breed is prone to proptosis and unfortunately, there is not anything that can guarantee that your dog’s eyes will stay in place.

  1. However, there are still some things you can do to prevent this from happening.
  2. Following the steps above to properly care for their eyes
  3. Never play rough with your dog. (don’t allow other pets or people to rough play either)
  4. Use a dog harness instead of a collar to walk your pet. (straining against a collar could build up pressure for their shallow eyeballs to pop out) The Puppia RiteFit Harness is great for Brachycephalic breeds.
  5. Avoid stretching or pulling their skin from the face or the scruff of the neck
  6. Don’t let them scratch their face or eyes too much

Make sure that you’re aware of other health issues that this breed is prone to.

How Do You Pop A Dog’s Eye Back In?

If your dog does suffer from this condition, immediate treatment is necessary, as this condition can cause blindness. This is an emergency situation and time is critical. Before heading to your vet, don’t forget to grab some gauze and saline (or water).

  • Wet the gauze and cover the eye that is sticking out of the socket.
  • Keep the eye as moist as possible. Do not remove the gauze, as removing it can cause you to pull the eye out further.
  • Take Fido to the vet’s office or an emergency animal clinic.

Have someone else drive, while you hold your Pug in your arms and keep them as calm as possible. Hopefully, they won’t have to do surgery on your dog.

If they do have to undergo enucleation (eye surgery) it can typically cost $500 – $4,000. If you do own a Pug, you may want to invest in Pug pet insurance, to help cover these types of emergency surgeries.

What If You Don’t Live Close to A Vet?

I know that not everyone lives in the city or has a vet nearby. If not, you may need to push the eye back into the socket yourself.

Here’s a video that will walk you through the entire process.

This can be a scary situation and most pet owners won’t feel comfortable trying to push the eyelids back in by themselves.

If you do attempt to do it, make sure that you don’t hurt your dog further.

Do Pugs Eyes Fall Out When They Get Old?

We had a black Pug for 16 years and while she did suffer from glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness, we were lucky enough to never have to deal with this issue.

Most pug owners won’t have to deal with this issue. With proper eye care and handling of your dog, you won’t have to worry about their big bulging eyes popping out.

In fact, these dogs are great family dogs and you’ll enjoy their companionship for several years.

Related Questions:

Why Do Pugs Have Big Eyes? Due to them being a brachiocephalic breed, they are prone to more health issues than regular dogs.

Do Pugs Eyes Pop Out When They Sneeze? You won’t have to worry if your Pug has a sneezing fit, their eyes won’t pop out. As mentioned above, this condition only occurs when blunt trauma or excessive pulling on their facial skin.

References and Further Reading:

Dr. Ruth MacPete, DVM – Ocular Proptosis: Why Is My Dog’s Eye Bulging

Universities Federation for Animal Welfare- Genetic Welfare Problems of Companion Animals

Dr. Marty Becker DVM – How to Protect The Eyes of Pekingese, Pugs, Bulldogs and Other Short-Nosed Breeds


Black Pug Site