Unless you have bred a springer spaniel and you’re going to be the “puppy raiser,” you most likely won’t see your future pup as a newborn.
You have a million questions, and one maybe, “when do springer spaniel puppies open their eyes?”
A springer spaniel puppy will generally open its eyes somewhere between 10 and 16 days. When they are born, they stick close to mom, and in the following days, begin crawling around sightless.
In this article, I will cover more about a springer spaniel puppy’s eye, what happens when they open their eyes, how they see, and their view of the world around them.
Springer Spaniels Eyes at Birth
The amount of time that an adult female spaniel carries her puppies is relatively short (around two months) compared with humans. Because of this short time, when the puppies are born, many organs are not fully developed but will continue to form quite quickly.
Your springer puppy will be born blind and with closed eyelids, which is because they are not yet fully formed or functioning. Their eyes are very fragile at this time, and the closed lids protect them from any damage caused by debris, dirt, and bacteria.
The lids are also a barrier in keeping out any bright sources of light. Your puppy’s optic nerves are not developed fully, and harsh light could damage this nerve.
When Do Springer Spaniel Puppies Open Their Eyes
Once your puppy is between 10 and 16 days old, its eyes should begin to open. This is no hard and fast rule since each pup is different. However, if their eyes haven’t opened by 20 days, it’s time to see a veterinarian.
Puppy’s eyes should never be forced open. This could cause damage, especially if the eye is not yet fully developed.
Now Their Eyes are open what can they see?
Spaniel puppies are just a sweet, tumbled jumble of fluff and fur, but when their eyes open, how do they view the world?
When puppies open their eyes, their vision is somewhat blurry, and they can’t see clearly or focus too well. They will not be able to pick out shapes of anything. They will only see shadow and light. Their eyes still need time to develop. Until then, they will see better when light is low, not bright, and it is much easier for them to follow a moving object than one that is stationary.
You may also wonder if your puppy will be colorblind, like everyone’s famous idea that all dogs are colorblind. Are dogs colorblind? The answer is no, not exactly. They can see color and don’t just see in black and white.
Dogs have a different make-up or anatomy of their eyes than humans do. Human eyes have cones located in the retina that allow us to see color. Dog’s eyes also have cones, just not as many, which makes the color spectrum they see different from ours.
Dogs can see two colors, yellow and blue. This is called dichromatic vision. Humans have trichromatic vision, seeing three colors, red, yellow, and blue.
The colors that your spaniel will see will not appear as vivid as the colors we see. Since they can’t see red, this color will appear to be somewhat black and white or grey.
Eye color is yet another aspect of your pup’s eyes you will have questions about. Most springer spaniels will have blue eyes that will be somewhat cloudy when they first open their eyes.
The reason for the blue eyes is that your puppy’s iris contains no melanin or pigment after their birth, and it is this that determines the eye color.
Some dogs like huskies will keep their blue eyes. Your pup will most likely produce more melanin causing their eyes to change color and darken how dark depends upon the amount of melanin produced. A springer spaniel’s eyes are usually hazel, brown, or black.
Around your puppy’s third week, their eyes will begin to change to the permanent color they will be. This may take up to twelve weeks.
One problem affecting newborn puppies, either before or after their eyes open, is conjunctivitis or pink eye. Bacteria can infect your spaniel’s eyes from their mother during the process of birth.
Symptoms can be watery red eyes, crusted or stuck together eyelids, or a pus or mucus discharge. For this infection, it’s best to bring in your veterinarian.
They will have to open the puppy’s eyelids if they haven’t opened yet and gently flush out their eyes and eyelids to wash out the bacteria. Antibiotic ointment or drops will have to be administered.
Most of the time, these infections are quickly cleared up. If conjunctivitis is left untreated, damage can occur to the cornea and then vision.
Springer spaniel puppies open their eyes between 10 and 16 days old. This is the big reveal of a whole big wide world of exploring and adventures for your new best pal.