Is my dog's long hair the cause of the gunk in his eyes?

Does my dog's long hair cause the gunk in his eyes?

(Q) My Cairn Terrier is quite hairy and has a lot of hair growing over his eyes. I've recently noticed that his eyes have been a bit gunky. He has ‘sleep' in them and crusty deposits have formed in the corners of his eyes. How should I clean them? Is it OK to trim the hair around his eyes? If so, how should I go about it?

(A) Groomer Diana North says: The Cairn Terrier is a hand-stripped breed but many pets have their back coats clipped. 

I would expect a groomer to trim around the eye area as part of a trim. Between trims, you must keep the eye area clean, dry, and free from any discharge.

Most pet shops stock canine eye wipes and these can be very useful if used on a regularly basis.

Great care must be taken when working round the eyes to avoid any accidental damage. If you are used to handling your dog and feel confident to undertake such a task, it is possible for you to trim the eye area.

Use short blunt-ended scissors and work with your dog on a firm non-slip surface at your eye level.

An alternative would be to ask your groomer to trim the eye area for you between your dog's regular trim.

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