Because of the discomfort associated with conjunctivitis, dogs may squint, blink rapidly, or paw at their faces incessantly. Both discharge and edema are possible in your dog. Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a common eye infection that may affect people, canines, and felines alike.
Dogs may experience pain from conjunctivitis, so if you see any changes in your dog’s eye health, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. The sooner you treat your dog’s pink eye, the less severe the symptoms will be, however treatment for conjunctivitis might vary depending on the underlying reason.
Conjunctivitis: What It Is and Why It Affects Dogs
Itchy conjunctiva, the membrane that lines a dog’s eyelids, is called conjunctivitis.
A variety of factors may lead to conjunctivitis. Viral infections, for instance, are the root cause of conjunctivitis.
Signs Your Dog Has Conjunctivitis
The symptoms of conjunctivitis are similar to those of pink eye in humans, including redness, inflammation, and a burning sensation in the affected eye.
Your dog may also have discharge and frequent blinking from an infected eye or both eyes. While canine pink eye most often affects both eyes, it may sometimes affect only one.
Your dog may also display other symptoms. including:
- Eye discharge that’s watery, cloudy, yellow, or green
- Swelling around the cornea
- Rubbing or pawing at the eyes
- Mild discomfort and irritation
Pink eye symptoms are similar to those of other eye diseases in canines, including glaucoma and cataracts. In order to rule out more severe eye problems, it’s crucial to get your dog to the doctor as soon as possible. Pink eye in dogs requires treatment since it may cause permanent eyesight loss if left unchecked.
Canine Conjunctivitis: What Brings It On?
Canine conjunctivitis may be caused by a number of factors, including bacterial and viral infections, environmental irritants, and allergies. If your dog has pink eye in just one eye, for instance, it could be the result of dryness or a scratch. Nonetheless, if the illness spreads to both eyes, it may be an indication of a bacterial or viral infection.
A dog’s pink eye may be caused by a number of different things
- Bacterial infections: Pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection, and this illness might be a symptom of something more serious like Lyme disease. Dogs with pink eye should be seen by a vet without delay.
- Viral infections: Pink eye in dogs often results from viral infections. An eye infection may be caused by any illness that leads to inflammation of the eye. Pink eye in dogs is often caused by viruses like distemper, herpes, or canine influenza.
- Foreign bodies: Anything from dust or dirt to a blade of grass can get stuck in your dog’s eyelid and cause pink eye.
- Parasites: Some parasites may cause pink eye in dogs.
- Inflammation: Your dog’s tear duct may become inflamed for another reason, ultimately causing pink eye.
- Abnormal eyelids: Eyelid or eyelid deformities can cause dry eye or eye irritation that leads to inflammation and pink eye.
- Dry eye: Dry eye, which may mimic foggy eyes, is an irritant that can cause inflammation and increase the risk of eye injury.
- Tumors: Tumors can result in dry eye, inflammation, and pink eye.
- Trauma: Eye trauma from dust or other foreign objects can irritate the eye, causing inflammation.
- Allergies: Allergies are one of the most common causes of eye infections in dogs. Dogs with environmental allergies may be more likely to get eye infections as a result.
Pink eye may either be a standalone infection or a sign of a more serious issue. Pink eye in dogs is often brought on by a virus. However, environmental and seasonal allergens like dust, pollen, and smoking may also lead to eye infections in dogs.
How to Identify Conjunctivitis in Dogs
Physical examinations are often insufficient for veterinarians to detect canine conjunctivitis.
Veterinarians will need to examine your dog’s medical history and perform diagnostic tests to find the root of the problem. The reason for your dog’s infection may be ruled out by a conjunctival scraping, Schirmer tear test, biopsy, or other procedures, depending on the results of the physical examination. There are several kinds of diagnostic tests, such as:
- Schirmer tear test: The tear test measures tear production.
- Eye exam: Your vet will look at your dog’s eyes, including their eyelids.
- Glaucoma test: Also called Intraocular pressure (IOP), a vet will use this test to diagnose glaucoma, which can cause eye inflammation in dogs.
- Dilation: Dilation helps vets see the back of the dog’s eye to look for inflammation.
- Bacterial culture: A bacterial culture will help your vet narrow down the causes of your dog’s pink eye by ruling out bacterial infections.
- Allergy tests: If your vet suspects your dog has allergies, they may run allergy tests to confirm their diagnosis and start treating your dog’s allergies while taking care of their pink eye symptoms.
The reason of your dog’s pink eye may need more testing before your doctor can begin treating it effectively and preventing it from reoccurring. In order to narrow down the possible causes of the eye infection and the necessary tests, your veterinarian will ask you a number of questions about your dog.
If your veterinarian is stumped as to what’s causing your dog’s illness, they may elect to begin therapy anyway. Typically, you’ll be given eye drops to administer at home, and then seen again in a few days to evaluate whether your dog’s condition has improved. Your veterinarian will keep trying to figure out what’s wrong with your dog if his or her symptoms don’t improve or the pink eye comes back after a few weeks or months.
A Remedy for Dog Conjunctivitis
Treatment for conjunctivitis in dogs might vary depending on the underlying reason, but in general, your doctor will focus on alleviating the signs and symptoms. Antibiotic eye drops, for instance, may be prescribed if your dog has discharge from the eyes. 2 If the infection is the result of a medical condition, topical therapies may not be effective. Your veterinarian may prescribe a combination of therapies for your dog’s conjunctivitis in order to alleviate his discomfort and address the underlying problem.
Conjunctivitis may be treated with a variety of methods, but eye drops are often crucial in alleviating the condition’s unpleasant side effects. Your veterinarian can show you how to provide eye drops to your dog without causing him any distress.
Surgery may be necessary to prevent the recurrence of conjunctivitis in your dog if the condition is caused by an underlying issue, such as an eyelash deformity.
Meanwhile, your veterinarian may recommend an antihistamine if they find that allergies are to blame for your pet’s conjunctivitis. Further, if your dog has an eye virus infection, your doctor will treat both the infection and the inflammation in your dog’s eyes.
The diagnosis is the last step in treating conjunctivitis in dogs. Your vet won’t be able to tell you how they plan to treat your dog until they determine what caused the illness. Fortunately, even if your veterinarian is stumped and unable to diagnose your dog’s condition, they will still send you home with eye drops to start relieving his discomfort.
Canine Conjunctivitis: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I delay veterinary care for my dog’s conjunctivitis?
Eye infections, including pink eye, do not resolve on their own. Do not delay in taking your dog to the doctor if you see any signs of conjunctivitis; doing so will help alleviate your pet’s suffering and get to the bottom of the problem faster. Left untreated or not treated soon enough, your dog might suffer eye damage or canine blindness.
If a dog has conjunctivitis, how long will it last?
Conjunctivitis is not something that will just go away, and if left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications. Most canine patients get therapy, and as a result, they have long, healthy lives. Conjunctivitis may be treated, although its duration is affected by both the therapy and the underlying cause. Pink eye might return if the underlying reason isn’t addressed.
Can conjunctivitis in canines be avoided?
Not all causes of pink eye in dogs may be avoided. However, you may check their health and take them to the doctor if you see any indications of distress. If you act quickly, you may stop the progression of your dog’s symptoms.
That said, the following tips can help minimize your dog’s risk of conjunctivitis :
- Staying up to date on vaccines and preventatives to prevent parasites and viral infections.
- Supervising dogs to hinder eye trauma
- Keeping their face clean
- Managing allergies when possible
Although it is not always possible, it is important to discuss the possible causes of pink eye in dogs with your veterinarian. The information provided here will help you make educated choices that will protect your pet.
Pink eye in dogs is a frequent but easily curable eye illness. Even though it is not life-threatening, if your dog has red eyes, irritation, inflammation, or is pawing at its face, you should have them checked out right away. Your veterinarian will need to do more than just treat the symptoms of conjunctivitis in your dog; they’ll also need to determine the underlying cause of the condition. Most instances of dog eye inflammation and irritation necessitate the use of eye drops. While it’s impossible to completely safeguard your pet from contracting pink eye, there are a number of measures you can do to lessen the odds of it happening.