Eye infections in dogs can lead to serious complications and negative long-lasting effects.
First-time owners struggle to detect the health issue on time and address it appropriately. However, there are some simple solutions.
After you get veterinary care for your dog, you will know how to get rid of eye infection in dogs very easily.
You can achieve this with prescribed medications and home remedies. But there is something more than this!
Stay with us and learn how to get rid of eye infections in dogs as soon as possible!
- Various underlying causes are responsible for dog eye infections.
- Veterinarians should determine the cause and treatment process for eye infections in dogs.
- Prescribed medications, home remedies, and preventative measures can help in the treatment process.
- Eye infections should not be left untreated.
- Monitoring the treated patients is essential.
Eye Infections And Recognizing Symptoms
Eye infections in dogs are very common, and the causes of them can be different. Many viruses, bacteria, parasites, or fungus spores can lead to eye infections.
Viral infections like canine distemper, herpes, hepatitis, and canine influenza can lead to eye infections in dogs. Viral infections can very often lead to a secondary bacterial infection.
Bacterial eye infections can be caused due to canine brucellosis, leptospirosis, and ehrlichiosis.
Trauma and allergic irritants can also be a cause of eye infections in dogs.
Most common types of eye infections and discomforts in dogs
Dogs can be affected by many diseases, and many viral and bacterial infections can lead to pain, discomfort, and even blindness.
The most common types of eye infections and discomfort in dogs are the following:
- Dogs conjunctivitis (Pink eye)
- Corneal abrasions
- Corneal ulcers
- Blocked tear duct
The most common eye infection symptoms
Symptoms usually depend on the present disease. However, some symptoms are noticeable in almost every eye infection in dogs. The most common symptoms due to eye infections in dogs are:
- Eye redness
- Dry eye
- Eye boogers
- Yellow or green discharge
- Excessive tears
- Eye discomfort
- Eye discharge
- Corneal pigmentation
- Painful eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Eye swelling
- Excessive blinking (light sensitivity)
If you notice eye irritation and similar symptoms that are unusual for your dog, call a veterinary ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Diagnosing Eye Infections in Dogs
If your dog has some of the previously mentioned symptoms, we suggest you to inspect its eyes at home.
This is a very simple procedure, you need to just observe the eyes and note any unusual changes you notice. As soon as you arrive at the vet’s office, you can report these problems.
The veterinarian should perform a thorough dog’s eye exam to determine the potential diseases. This includes the following:
- Tear production
- Intraocular pressure
- Corneal abrasions.
Besides the thorough eye exam for diagnosing a dog’s eye infection, the veterinarian should perform complete blood tests and urinalysis. Blood tests and urinalysis are beneficial to determine the cause of the eye infection and the following treatment of dogs.
When the dog’s eye is affected by a bacteria, the veterinarian should prepare a culture of the eye discharge to detect the cause of it and the best treatment.
The veterinarian should also inspect for eye abnormalities since they can lead to serious, long-lasting effects.
For now, avoid home medications until your veterinarian prescribes them.
In cases of foreign bodies, the veterinarian might decide on removal at the moment of diagnosing if it is a simple procedure. Of course, this requires sedation or local anesthesia because dogs can have unpredictable movements during the foreign body retraction.
Home Care and Prevention
The treatment process depends on the cause of the eye infection. It also depends on the severity of the disease.
Dog’s eyes are very sensitive in general, and especially when there is a present infection. Therefore, you need to follow the veterinarian’s advice to lead to the appropriate treatment of dog eye infections.
There are 3 methods to treat dog eye infections.
Let’s take a look!
Prescribed medications are the first and most reliable treatment method for eye infections in dogs. The prescribed drugs depend on the determined cause of the eye infection.
For example, if the dog’s eyes are affected by a bacterial infection, the treatment should include antibiotics (topical and oral antibiotics), supplementation, and/or topical steroids.
In most cases, a bacterial infection in a dog’s eyes is treated with topical antibiotics through eye drops or creams.
Viral infections can be prevented with vaccinations. However, viral diseases can still occur. The treatment process of a viral infection includes antiviral, anti-inflammatory drugs, and supplements.
Kennels, hospitals, and places with many stray dogs are at increased risk for viral infections.
In cases of allergies, veterinarians usually prescribe antihistamines. It can help in managing the inflammation in a few days.
Cleaning without a veterinarian’s advice is recommended in the first 24 hours after the first symptoms occur. But if the dog’s eyes don’t improve after the cleaning, you should contact a veterinarian.
The cleaning process won’t help in the treatment process. However, it can help in further eye damage.
You should start cleaning your dog’s eyes if you notice eye irritation or eye discharge. Use warm water to moisturize a washcloth and then clean the area around the eyes.
It is extremely important to keep the dog’s eyes clean constantly during infections.
If the eye irritation is due to foreign bodies, the veterinarian should first extract the foreign object for you to continue the cleaning process.
Another helpful method for cleaning the dog’s eyes is with saline. Make sure that you buy a high-quality saline that does not contain any additional ingredients.
Then, flush the dog’s eyes with the saline and gently wipe the discharge with a cotton ball. When cleaning, avoid using chemicals, peroxide, or human medications.
Preventing dog eye infections is very difficult, and unfortunately, we cannot provide you with a step-by-step guide. However, we will tell you the things that you should be cautious of the most.
Regularly observe your dog and detect if there are any changes in the eye area. In most of the cases, dogs with eye infections have a very severe eye irritation. Being a little more careful will help you detect eye irritation in dogs.
Then, you need to be careful about the dog’s living environment. Viral infections in dogs can be avoided with vaccination and a clean environment. Dogs that are exposed to more environmental factors are more sensitive to viral infections.
Every dog should be vaccinated with the core vaccines to avoid the most life-threatening diseases. According to AAHA, the vaccination process should start at 6th week.
Kennels and veterinary practices must be cleaned adequately to avoid the fast spreading of viral infections in dogs. Isolating the affected animals can help you prevent eye infections in the rest of the dogs.
A very simple advice for every dog owner is to maintain grooming practices. Simple facial hair trim of your canine companion can prevent eye irritation.
Adventurous dogs have increased chances of many eye conditions. They are mostly prone to eye trauma due to uncontrolled interaction with other dogs and humans.
Most dogs greet themselves through rough play, which might lead to unintentional eye trauma. Try to prevent your dog from these interactions as much as possible.
If you have an adventurous furry friend, we recommend you buy dog goggles. This will protect the dog’s eyes from accidental injuries and foreign objects. According to Mad Paws, goggles can help protect from UV light and cancer in dogs.
Dog eye infections can also be managed with proper nutrition. You should provide your dog with a balanced and nutritious diet. Make sure you provide your dog with enough vitamin A during the treatment process. It is a vitamin that can significantly improve the dog’s vision.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, this vitamin is responsible for the formation of rhodopsin, a photoreceptor pigment in the retina.
These preventative measures won’t protect your dog’s eyes 100%, but as a responsible dog owner, you should consider them. These measures will significantly reduce the chances of dog eye infections.
Monitoring Eye Infections
The dog eye infection treatment is not successful overnight. Sometimes, it can be very demanding, and you must put a lot of time and money into it. However, it is worth it!
A severe eye infection can be managed by determining the underlying cause and proper treatment. Any eye infection in a dog requires immediate treatment because it can lead to blindness and might become extremely painful if left untreated.
After the treatment, veterinarians and dog owners should monitor for additional clinical signs.
For example, in cases of conjunctivitis, you should be aware of other abnormalities. According to the American Kennel Club, eye abnormalities might be a consequence of pink eyes in dogs.
Can a dog’s eye infection heal on its own?
It is very rare, but it shouldn’t be excluded. A certain dog eye infection can be cured by itself; however, most eye infections require immediate medical attention.
When should I take my dog to the vet for eye infection problems?
As with any other disease, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. This will prevent potential pain and further follow-up of the disease.
Can a dog eye infection make them blind?
Yes, a dog eye infection can make dogs blind depending on the stage of the infection and the current health condition of the animal. That is why it is important to take dogs to the vet as soon as you notice any changes regarding the eyes.
Can a dog eye infection be treated with human eye drops?
In most of the cases, human eye drops are not recommended for dogs. The only appropriate products for human usage that can be used in dogs as well are artificial tear drops and ointments.
To Sum Up
Treating dog eye infections is a very complex process, so make sure you follow your veterinarian’s advice. Some eye infections in dogs can be treated with home remedies, while some require a long and exhausting treatment.
No matter the cause, make sure to monitor your dog’s overall health, and if you notice something unusual, address the problem on time.
Do you have experience with eye infections in dogs? We are curious! Let us know in the comment section below!