This section is from the book "A Manual Of Toy Dogs: How To Breed, Rear, And Feed Them", by Leslie Williams. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Toy Dogs: How To Breed, Rear And Feed Them.
The eye of the dog is an even more delicate structure than the ear, and only skilled surgical aid should approach it in any but the simplest ailments. Of these are the simple catarrhal ophthalmia, the symptoms of which are redness of the lining membrane of the lids, and a greenish discharge, turning brown and dry later, which comes from cold and weakness of constitution. The victim of this must be kept in an even temperature, be not allowed to lie by the fire, or look into it, or to go out of doors in wind, hot sunshine, or cold, and be well fed with good nourishing meat and light, digestible food. The discharge should be wiped away from the eyes at morning and evening with a bit of sponge dipped in a warm boracic lotion which any chemist will supply of the proper strength; and immediately afterwards a little bit of yellow oxide of mercury ointment, about as large as a small split pea, should be gently introduced under the lid of the affected eye with a camel's hair brush. Do not, on any account, accept "golden ointment," if the chemist happens to offer you this old-fashioned remedy (I believe) for styes ! It is made of the red oxide of mercury, and is a very great deal stronger than the yellow oxide of mercury ointment, which, by the way, should be made in the strength of 2 grs. to the ounce.
This latter ointment may also be used where, after distemper, a bluish film lingers in the eye. Amaurosis is not uncommon in the dog. The eyes look perfectly right, but the dog is blind. This may be an hereditary condition, but sometimes comes in as a result of weakness pure and simple. Iron tonics, cod liver oil, nux vomica, etc, may be given, and sometimes prove effectual. Good living is essential. These cases are occasionally cured rather suddenly, but as a rule are incurable.
Simple cold in the eyes - or more often, only in one - is a very ordinary ailment, but distressing both to sufferer and owner. The affected eye waters more or less profusely, and is kept partly closed. Within, there is the same appearance as in catarrhal ophthalmia, but in a less degree, and there may be fever and constitutional disturbance, in which case the patient must be treated for a coryza, or "common cold." A boracic and poppy-head lotion is the quickest cure for cold in the eyes, and is also useful in the ophthalmic condition. It soothes the pain greatly, and is best applied by means of a small all-indiarubber ball syringe. On no account must a syringe with a bone or glass or vulcanite point be used : the indiarubber nozzle is soft, and from it one or two drops can easily be inserted between the eyelids. The amount of resistance the patient makes will be proportionate to the severity of the inflammation, and as this lessens he will endure the operation with serenity. To make the lotion at home, buy a poppy-head, price about a halfpenny, from any chemist, and boil it for an hour or longer in half a pint of water, adding to this as it evaporates.
When the water is sherry-coloured, dissolve 10 grs. of boracic acid powder in each fluid ounce, allow to cool, and use as frequently as convenient - once every hour, while the congestion of the lining membrane of the eyelids is active.