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Why Do Pugs Eyes Pop Out?

Many people might not know this but pugs are a brachycephalic breed. Dogs belonging to this breed have muzzled faces. The eye sockets are shallow. Pugs are short-nosed dogs. Due to some challenging facial features, there is a good chance that your pug’s eyes might fall out. Eyes falling out when the skin is pulled very hard is known to people as proptosis. Proptosis can also occur if your dog goes through a lot of trauma. The real question however is different. How will you react if you see one of your pug’s eyes hanging in front of its face? Let’s look into the disease of proptosis in much detail:

What is Pug Eye Proptosis?

Ocular proptosis can be described as forward displacement of the eyeball which is beyond an eyelid. It can also mean that the eye socket can appear separated from an eyelid. It also leads to your pooch having big bulging eyes. Big eyes can be seen in other dog breeds as well which are short. These breeds include- English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Shih-Tzu and Pekingese.

You do have to keep an eye on the issue. But you do not have to worry, it’s not common either. There is very little chance of your pug’s eyes falling out.

In case it does happen like your eyelids have been trapped behind your pug’s eyeball. There is a chance your pug will suffer from discolouration

How Common is Pug Eye Proptosis?

Frankly speaking, if you are a vet, yes you might have seen pugs suffer from proptosis. But frankly speaking, it’s not as common in pugs as you think. It happens in a pug. But it’s not very common as a pug pooping inside of a house. However, you need to be able to run to your vet in case something like this happens. People might have this thought that proptosis might be more common in old dogs. There is no data available to indicate that. 

How Do I Protect My Pug’s Eyes?

As a pug pet owner, the best thing to be done here is to get insurance and take your pug to a vet. Eventualities can happen at any time, you just have to be ready for that. You do it specifically to address the special needs of your pug.

Also try your best to keep your pug away from having any possible injury, infection or irritation, it can cause a lot of problems in the eye.

There are small, small changes as well that you can incorporate for the well being of your pooch. Do not let your pug move its head outside. Make sure that your pooch remains inside the car. Any wrong move can cost your pooch his eyes.

Why do pug’s eyes pop out in the first place?

Trauma can be a very persuasive reason for your pooch to pull out its eyes. The pulling of your pug’s skin seems to be another reason. When you put too much pressure on your eyelid that causes it. If you are into high sports activities there is a greater threat of the eyes popping out. There is a chance of you bumping your eye and also in rough play.

If there is the pressure exerted on your eyes it can also mean that you are suffering from internal bleeding, infection or tumour. The major question is despite all the repercussions- 

Will Your Dog Go Blind?

There is a possibility of a dog going blind. Your dog can go blind however it depends on multiple factors- what kind of an ocular injury is it? How severe is the injury? How long might it take to see a vet?

There is a study that was published by Ohio University. It has recorded different outcomes among 66 canine subjects who have suffered from proptosis. 41 had an affected eye. 18 had retained vision in either eye as well. Even if your pug suffers from vision loss, it does not mean that your pug will die. Your pug will remain good even after vision loss.

How to Prevent a Pug’s Eyes From Popping Out?

Things can happen and as pugs are prone to proptosis there is not much to do. You can do certain things to ensure that your pug’s eyes stay at their place:

  • Never engage in rough play with your pug. Pugs are sensitive dogs. Any wrong move can lead them to get hurt.
  • Try to use harnesses as opposed to a collar. Collars can choke your pug. Harnesses distribute the force evenly.
  • Don’t let your pug scratch its eye. It can also lead to your pug’s eye falling out. 
  • Make sure you know the health issues of a breed like a pug’s face. 
  • Try to schedule regular checkups with a vet.
  • Inspect your pug’s eyes and clean them.
  • Loose hairs and nail clippings should not get into your pug’s eyes. 
  • Stop smoking in the house. 
  • Use safe pet care products when cleaning the house.
  • Educate your child on how to calmly handle your pooch.
  • Do not pull their skin especially the neck area and the face region.
  • If you take your pug for a walk use a collar, not a harness.
  • Do not let your pug scratch its face too much.

What should I do when my pug’s eyes come out of the eye socket unexpectedly?

If it happens unknowingly, it still qualifies as a medical emergency. What is the next move for you? Be ready for any eventuality. Take your pug to the vet. Time is very important here. Do not waste time by thinking too much into it. There are several things you need to take care of before reaching the vet:

  • Take a saline solution with you along with a gauze.
  • Make sure you wet the gauze in the saline solution.
  • The eye should be moist while you head towards the clinic.
  • You can fill in saline solution in a sprinkling bottle. Keep the mist nozzle. Sprinkle it in bits.
  • Make sure you have another person who drives. You need to be there with your pug for emotional support.

Do not try to shove your pug’s eye yourself. Your vet will do that.

What Will the Vet Do?

A vet will try to look at your pug’s eyes and do the best it can. Your vet can open up the eyelids and reposition the eyeballs. The next thing they can suture the eyelids back together. 

Taking care of the pug after the proptosis

Your pug will still take time to heal after a positive prognosis. These are the following steps you need to do for smooth recovery of your pug:

  • The cone or collar should stay till they are fully recovered.
  • You can apply ointments and antibiotics in the wounded area.
  • You should inspect the sutures regularly.
  • Directly notify your vet if you see some swelling.
  • Notice if your dog has a fever or has extreme body temperature.
  • Do not miss your vet’s appointments.

Cannot go to the vet after your pug’s eye fell out

If for some reason you cannot go to the vet after your pug’s eyes fell out of the socket. You have to be brave and try to put your pooch’s eye back. Remember your pug won’t like it. It may cause a bit of pain. Your pooch will detest. But you cannot delay since it’s also a medical emergency. A bit of pain should be tolerable rather than letting your pooch suffer. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Wash your hands first.
  • Try to keep the eye socket moist.
  • First, gently try to extend the eyelids.
  • You can use your clean hands to try pushing the eyeball back to its place.
  • You can get some help if you need some assistance from other people as well. 
  • If by chance the socket is swollen, do not force it. Try to get some assistance from a vet.

Do not panic, even loss of eyesight does not cost your dog’s life. 

What are the Dangers Associated With a Pug’s Eyes Falling Out?

Pugs are fragile dog breeds that crave constant attention. Many situations can lead your pug’s eyes to fall out of their eye sockets. Some of the common reasons why this can happen-


Injuries can be very common in your pug. The slightest injury can cause your pug’s eye to pop out. It could also happen because your pug slammed its head on a hard surface. If something hits your pooch hard, it can cause dislocation of the eyeball from the eye socket. Facial injuries can also happen if your pug scratches itself a lot

Pug would want to scratch itself. As you know your furbaby could catch a lot of debris. The problem however lies because pugs are a brachycephalic breed. They cannot scratch their eyes as much as they want. It can dislocate their eyes.

Irritants in eyes

Pug’s eyes and noses are very sensitive. Smoke and fumes from a cleaning product can be irritating. It then leads your pug to scratch their eyes hence risking proptosis. Some irritants that can make their way into a pug’s eyes include- hair, pollen, dust, or mould.

Symptoms of suffering from eye irritation include:

  • Your pug is blinking his eyes very often.
  • Pug has a bloodshot eye.
  • There is some discharge coming off of your pug’s eyes.
  • Your pug’s eyes can be very sensitive to light.
  • There can be swelling in your pug’s lower and upper eyelid.

Some of the symptoms can occur when dirt enters your pooch’s eyes. These can be early signs of eye infection

Eye infection

There are many types of eye infections on your pug’s face. Some eye infections include:

  • Cherry eye
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca
  • Distichiasis and ectopic cilia
  • Entropion

A Cherry eye in a pug is caused when there is a weakening of connective surrounding a weakening eye. It can affect the nictitating membrane which closes up and down to moisten the pupil. When connective tissues weaken the eyelids close insides instead of just forward up and down motion. 

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a condition known as dry eye. It can affect a pug that is dehydrated and poorly nourished. As a result, the inner eye scrapes become very painful.

Distichiasis & Ectopic Cilia can be painful for the pug. Distichiasis is usually caused due to curved eyelashes. However, the latter means the abnormal amount of eyelash growth in the eyelids. 

Pugs are severely affected by Distichiasis and ectopic cilia.

Entropion can be classified as a hereditary condition. It generally refers to the process of warding off both upper and lower eyelids. There can be a lot of causes for entropion:

  • The ligament tissue that holds the eyelids in, pull the lower eyelids in
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Continuous eye infections

How Much Can Proptosis Cost?

Proptosis can be very costly. The amount however can vary from $500- $4000. It can very well cost you around $1000. Since the cost is so overpowering. It is advised to have medical insurance to cover the costs. 

How to Clean Your Pug’s Eyes?

It is very important to clean your pug’s eyes. Not only in the event of proptosis but in general you should be taking care of your pug’s eyes. 

  • Have some items with you for pug’s eye cleaning like- Unscented baby wipes, warm washcloths, or a sterile eye cleansing pad. All of these items should be sterile and your pug should be happy to use every item. 
  • Do not use toilet paper as it can crumble. You can use baby wipes. Using clothes on you will give you an idea of how good it is? Therefore, test the product on yourself before trying it on anyone else. 
  • If you want to clean your pug’s eyes, brace yourselves. It won’t be easy. Keep some treats to give them while you clean your pug’s eyes.
  • Moisten the cloth before using it.
  • While using a cloth on their eyes make sure you either take them on a lap. You can also sit with them.
  • Now start using a natural wipe. Do not strain your pug’s eyes. Start wiping in the edges and then slowly do it outward. Please make sure you do not push your pooch’s eye. After using one wipe try using another. The clean wipes help your pug to be infection-free. Do it gently.
  • Be calm, it may take a while if you haven’t cleaned your pug. So repeat the process multiple times until all the dirt has been cleaned from your pooch’s eye. 
  • Give your pug some treat afterwards, they were still for such a long time. Give them an award for being still for so long.
  • Inspect your pooch’s eye. Can you see any abnormalities? Do you see excessive squinting, cloudiness, redness? Then it’s time to call your vet.
  • It’s also a matter of habit. Once your pug gets used to your cleaning it won’t resist the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do pug’s eyes fall out when they age?

To understand why proptosis occurs, we need to understand the science behind it. It occurs because of the excessive pressure on the eyelids. The problem should not have anything to do with a pug’s age. Proptosis can also happen in a young pug. 

Do pug’s eyes pop out when they sneeze?

Pugs won’t drop their eyeballs while having a sneezing fit. However, pug’s can pop their eyes out when there is excessive pulling off their skin. Pugs can also drop the eyeballs once the eyeballs are out of their socket. It all depends on the pressure on the eyelids. Sneezing cannot displace the eye sockets in a pug.

Why do pugs have bulging eyes?

As you might know, pugs belong to a brachycephalic breed of dogs. They have squished faces, muzzled noses. They also have shallow eyes which are not nicely fitted on eye interiors. That’s why when you look at a pug, it looks like a pug’s eye might come out. 

How often can a pug’s eye pop out?

The pug’s eyes can pop out because the pug’s eye sockets are shallow. Any excess trauma can lead the pug’s eyes to pop out. Do not think that even after one incident your pug’s eyes might not pop out. It can happen again. You have to employ some grooming techniques to take hold of the problem.

Can your pug’s eye be straightened out?

More or less, it can be categorically stated as a breed characteristic more than anything. It does not denote a problem. Pugs look cross-eyed because of their genetic makeup. You should not worry about that.

Final Words!

Do not be too concerned regarding this matter of proptosis. This is not a very severe issue. What you need to do is to take steps to prevent proptosis from occurring in pugs? Proptosis can be a very strange problem. It looks untreatable. But, it is just a small problem.

In case it happens, do what needs to be done. Use a gauge to cover your pug’s eyes. Run to a nearby vet and your vet will take over from then on. Take proper care of your pug to prevent it from happening in the first place. 

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