Why Does My Dogs Eye Looks Lazy? Explained

If you’ve observed that your furry buddy has suddenly developed a lazy eye and you are worried Why Does My Dogs Eye Looks Lazy? Keep reading to learn more about the potential causes and how you can treat them. You might notice that one or both of your dog’s eyes are unintentionally moving in opposite directions and do not trace items simultaneously.

Although the strabismus won’t likely cause your dog any pain or discomfort, the underlying causes of his crossed eyes may give him other symptoms. Strabismus is uncommon in dogs but is more prevalent in some dog breeds.

You should know right away that, regardless of the problem’s cause, even though it could seem like a significant concern, there is no proof that your dog will experience any pain or that his quality of life will decline. Any aberrant posture of your dog’s eyes is known as strabismus. Your dog’s eyes typically move in unison as they move left, right, up, and down. Lazy eye is the most popular name for this ailment.

Why Does My Dogs Eye Looks Lazy?

Strabismus, or a lazy eye in canines, can be brought on by trauma, heredity, or issues with the neurological system. Tumors, vestibular disorders, hydrocephalus, and immune-mediated myositis are further potential causes. Understandably, seeing a lazy eye in your pet would cause many questions and worries.

Why Does My Dogs Eye Looks Lazy


Seven muscles are in charge of a dog’s eye. The eye is moved left, right, up, and down by the four rectus muscles. One retractor muscle draws the eye inward towards the head, while two oblique muscles rotate the eye either clockwise or counterclockwise. Dogs with lazy eyes have weaker eye-controlling muscles, which causes the eye to move from its typical position. Any of the following factors may contribute to this weakening of the eye muscles:


Lazy eyes are more common in some breeds than others. This cause is typically linked to inheriting weak eye muscles or perhaps an eye muscle fiber alteration that reduces the natural movement of one or both eyes. Breeds, including Pugs, Boston terriers, Shar Peis, Irish Wolfhounds, Golden Retrievers, and Akitas, are likelier to inherit lazy eyes than other breeds.


Dogs with head or eye injuries may experience aberrant nerve or muscle activity that impairs eye movement and results in lazy eyes. These wounds are frequently caused by collisions in vehicles, slips, falls, or being struck by a sharp object.


Less frequently, eye-region tumors might result in lazy eyes. This happens due to the tumor pressing against the nerve or muscles.

Nervous System Dysfunction

Anything that interferes with the nervous system’s ability to operate can result in lazy eyes. Tumors and traumas were already mentioned, but other factors like brain swelling brought on by sickness or immune-mediated inflammation can also cause dogs to develop lazy eyes.

Vestibular Disease

This condition is another reason dogs have sleepy eyes. A dog’s equilibrium is controlled by the vestibular system, which is located inside the ear. A dog’s eyes may move unnaturally to correct the unbalance or spinning sensation they experience when that system is off.


Rarely canine strabismus can also be brought on by thyroid problems or immune-mediated myositis of the eye muscles.

Diagnosis Of Strabismus In Dogs

If you are tense or think your dog might have strabismus, you should take him to the vet. It will be crucial to record and identify any warning indicators you may have noticed in the days, weeks, or months before your visit. If your dog has experienced any injuries or accidents, it will be crucial to let the doctor know so they can understand his new symptoms.

Why Does My Dogs Eye Looks Lazy 1

Your animal needs a physical examination, and your veterinarian will want to check his eyes to see what might make them stare in different directions. Your veterinarian may also wish to perform blood testing to rule out any underlying reasons for the strabismus.

To check for additional damage and underlying problems, testing may also include MRI or X-rays. To formally diagnose strabismus, there isn’t a test that is always used. Instead, your veterinarian will make a diagnosis by ruling out any alternative explanations for the presenting issue.

Treatment Of Strabismus In Dogs

What caused your dog’s strabismus will determine how best to treat him. The method used to assist him will depend on whether the condition was inherited, acquired due to an injury, or brought on by nerve disease.


Your veterinarian might not advise any therapy if it is determined that your dog has inherited strabismus and there are no other underlying illnesses or trauma that could have caused his symptoms.

It has been discovered that if your dog has inherited strabismus, treatment is unnecessary, and his quality of life shouldn’t be compromised. You might be given exercises to try and strengthen your dog’s eye muscles, but your dog will be able to adjust.

During these drills, you hold your finger in front of your dog’s face and slowly move it closer to his nose. Although it will take time, it can aid in strengthening his weak eye muscles. When it is inherited, it is only regarded as a cosmetic issue. Thus there are no long-term consequences to be worried about.


If there were no documented trauma or injury when your dog developed strabismus, your veterinarian would address the underlying problem. Some of these problems could be infections or damage to the inner ear, requiring appropriate treatment. His eyes could also have nerve damage, which must be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.

If your pet’s strabismus developed due to an injury, any urgent medical issues would be attended to first. Your veterinarian will next go over any additional strabismus treatment choices if any, once your dog has stabilized, if necessary. If your dog is sorrowing nausea due to injuries or vestibular issues, medication may be provided for him. His strabismus will require a lot of effort and care to treat.

Your dog will probably compensate for his new symptoms because most vestibular illnesses are not life-threatening, but here is where patience and time are needed. It would help if you gave him time to become used to his new environment.

Carrying him can make him recover from his symptoms more slowly. Therefore it should be avoided for a while. Finally, giving him a lot of light will help him recuperate by allowing him to use it for his cues regarding distance, position, and other things.

Recovery Of Strabismus In Dogs

Before he adapts or returns to his usual self, the recovery period can range from 3 to 14 days. Again, if it results from an injury, the length of his rehabilitation will depend on how severe the damage was. There won’t be any recuperation period if it’s inherited because your dog will adjust to it independently.

Depending on the requirements of your dog, follow-up will be addressed with your veterinarian. She might want you to return or check in with them after a particular time if there is any medication treatment. Your veterinarian will instruct you to oversee your pet for any new or developing symptoms.

Your dog will benefit from the room and potential modifications, as your veterinarian advises. He should fully heal and acclimate to his new sensory input within a few weeks. Keeping him secure and providing him with a pleasant environment will also aid in his rehabilitation.

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Final Summary

I hope you understand all about Why Does My Dogs Eye Looks Lazy? Dogs with lazy eyes experience changes to the typical movement and positioning of one or both eyes. It can be caused by different elements and is more common in specific breeds. Visit your vet to find out what, if anything has to be done if you think your dog may have lazy eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs have lazy eyes?

Dogs can indeed have lazy eyes. Some of them are genetically predisposed to having it. Dogs having problems with their neurological or vestibular systems may also have sleepy eyes. You should take your dog to the clinic for additional testing if they notice that one of its eyes is lazy.

My puppy has a lazy eye. What should I do?

You should take your puppy to the vet if they have a lazy eye. Sometimes hereditary eye muscle abnormalities cause puppies to be born with dull eyes. In other instances, a puppy may have a lazy eye because their immune system is compromised or they have sustained an injury.

What must I do if my dog’s eye becomes suddenly lazy?

It would help if you visited a veterinarian with your dog for additional advice. A developed lazy eye may be a symptom of an illness, vestibular disorder, or immune-related problems. Your dog can suffer from nerve injury, muscular damage, or rumors. Your veterinarian should diagnose your dog’s sudden lazy eye.

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