How To Treat Conjunctivitis Eye Infections In Dogs
Eye infections are a relatively common condition among dogs, particularly a bacterial infection known as conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, isnt exclusive to humans and can cause the same discharge, redness, and irritation for your dog. Learn how to recognize the signs of pink eye in dogs and what to expect from the vet and treatment.
What is conjunctivitis ?
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, or the tissue surrounding the inner eyelids and white part of the eyes. Bacterial conjunctivitis is a bacterial infection that can appear as a result of a variety of different triggers. It often accompanies a respiratory infection or if your dog has suffered an eye injury. Pink eye can also be caused by airborne irritants such as cigarette smoke, dust, and perfumes, dry eye, or if your pet has come into contact with bacteria or another affected dog.
Dogs with conjunctivitis will experience symptoms such as eye discharge, squinting, redness, or cloudiness in the eyes. Their tear and mucus production in the eye will increase, and the discharge can either be watery or thick like pus. Your dogs eyes may also become swollen. Oftentimes, dogs with conjunctivitis rub their eyes with their paws, furniture, or the floor.
Going to the vet for conjunctivitis
Most cases of pink eye clear up quickly with antibiotics, but if your dogs eye infection persists talk to your vet for further treatment.
Leave a comment
How Veterinarians Diagnose A Dog Eye Infection
According to the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, eye exams for dogs are very similar to those for humans. The exception is it’s very hard to get veterinary patients to read an eye chart, the ACVO noted in a fact sheet. A dog’s eye exam may consist of the following tests:
- Schirmer Tear Testmeasures the eye’s tear production and will be conducted when there is redness or discharge.
- Visual examination with a focal light source of the eyelids and front half of the eye
- Intraocular pressure , measured with an instrument called a tonometer, to look for signs of glaucoma
- Dilation with special eye drops allow the vet to examine the back of the eye, including the condition of the optic nerve and retina and the reflectivity of the tapetum, a layer of tissue in the canine eye that reflects light and improves night vision.
- Corneal staining with a fluorescein dye that will reveal ulcers or other breaks in the surface of the cornea.
- Bacterial culture
Should Natural Antibiotics Be Used In Place Of Regular Antibiotics
Yes and no. It really depends on how serious the infection is and how necessary the antibiotics are to overall health.
Medical antibiotics can have undesirable side effects, but sometimes using them is necessary to cure a severe infection. For example, most antibiotics run the risk of vomiting or diarrhea, however this is similar to all oral medicine. Your pets digestive system is always at risk for a minor flare up when taking antibiotics, although these side effects are relatively rare and dont pose major issues for most pets. You shouldnt risk your pets health if prescribed medical antibiotics, and you should use them, completing the treatment as specified by your vet.
Natural antibiotics are more effective when used as an initial measure, or a preventative measure to stop any infection or inflammation from getting worse. You should still always consult a vet before switching medical antibiotics for natural ones.
Don’t Miss: Buy Fish Antibiotics For Humans
Signs Your Dog Has An Eye Infection
The most obvious symptom of a dog eye infection is excess eye discharge. But not all dog eye discharge is the same. Check this list to see if its likely allergies or something more serious:
Certain breeds are more prone to eye conditions that lead to infection. For example, breeds with drooping skin like shar-peis, bulldogs, and mastiffs can develop eyelid problems that cause irritation. Breeds with shortened snouts and bulging eyes, like shih tzus, pugs, and bulldogs are prone to corneal issues. Still, eye infections can affect all breeds and dogs of all ages, so keep a lookout for symptoms and schedule an appointment with your vet if you notice anything unusual or if your pup doesnt seem her normal, happy self.
Types Of Eye Drops For Dogs
Selecting the right product for your pet is crucial in resolving their eye-related problem. Some situations may only require saline eye drops, while others may need prescribed medication.
Check with your vet before beginning treatment to make sure the eye drops you use are appropriate the wrong product can sometimes cause more harm than good for your dogs condition.
Saline eyewashes are available over the counter and can be used to clean dirt and debris from your dogs eyes. They can also rinse away the occasional crustiness and gunk that gathers in the corner of the eyes and relieve mild allergies. Eyewashes may not help with redness, dryness or complex eye problems, however.
Antibiotic eye drops such as ciprofloxacin may be prescribed for conditions such as canine conjunctivitis or keratitis.
Steroid eye drops can be used to treat eye infections and severe allergies. These eye drops require a prescription from your vet. They must not be used if your dogs cornea is damaged.
Antibacterial eye drops, wipes and other topical products used for cleansing and treating eye irritation can be found at pet stores, but be cautious about using them before consulting a vet.
Eye drops for canine glaucoma such as dorzolamide or timolol may be prescribed as part of a treatment plan.
Other ophthalmic medications used to treat dry eyes in dogs may include cyclosporine or tacrolimus. These medications are designed to increase tear production and replace tear film.
Also Check: Do You Have To Take Antibiotics For Uti
What Dog Antibiotics Can Treat
In general, there are four types of germs that can cause infection internally or externally on your dogs body.
These tiny microbes include fungi, viruses, bacterial infections, and parasites. For any treatment to be successful, the veterinarian needs to find out what is causing your dog to be unwell, so the correct type of medication can be prescribed.
To enable the correct diagnosis sometimes it is necessary to take a small blood sample for testing but in a large number of cases the vet has enough knowledge and experience to know which type of antibiotic is the correct one to get on top of the infection.
The symptoms your dog is displaying are typical of the characteristics of these infections certain infections are known to cause certain symptoms, thus ruling out other types of infections.
These minute bacteria feed off your pets cells and destroy the new cells as they grow, thus providing a source of food as the cells waste away.
This circle will continue until the correct pet antibiotic is given which will kill the parasite and the allow your dogs body tissue or cells to recover.
Pet antibiotics usually also contain other medicines to help make your dog feel better and more comfortable whilst undergoing the treatment.
Will My Dog Fully Recover From Conjunctivitis
Dogs normally make a full recovery but, in rare cases, they can be left with sight problems or scars on the eye. Or, depending on the cause, they may need to stay on treatment permanently. Early treatment gives your dog the very best chance of avoiding these complications.
If your dog suffers with allergies, conjunctivitis is likely to flare up from time to time.
Also Check: Low Dose Antibiotics For Uti
You May Like: How To Rebuild Microbiome After Antibiotics
Can Dogs Take Amoxicillin
Pet Amoxicillin is a specific medicine for your dog, it is not the same as the medicine your pharmacist dispenses to you and you should NEVER give your pet any human drug, even if you think its the same.
Pet Amoxicillin is suitable for treating the most common bacterial infections that your dog may encounter as it grows up and has many adventures from cuts and grazes to sore ears and dental problems.
Amoxicillin is the go to number one antibiotic used by veterinarians for any non-viral infection.
Todays Amoxicillin is the modern day equivalent of Penicillin. When it was first developed during World War 2 it was a breakthrough drug, but was quick to dispel from the body and could not withstand acid from the stomach.
Science has refined that original product and it is now much more sustainable in the body, lasting longer and giving better protection against bacteria.
The same standards apply to Amoxicillin for dogs and your dog most certainly can take, and enjoy the relief and benefits from this germ-busting drug.
Are Some Dogs More Susceptible To Inner Ear Infection
Dogs with long, heavy ears seem to be predisposed to chronic ear infections that can ultimately lead to otitis interna. Spaniel breeds, such as the Cocker Spaniel, and hound breeds, such as the Bloodhound and Basset Hound, are the most commonly affected breeds. Regardless of breed, any dog with a chronic ear infection that is difficult to control may develop otitis interna if the eardrum is damaged, as a damaged ear drum allows bacteria to migrate down into the inner ear.
Dogs with long, heavy ears seem to be predisposed to chronic ear infections that ultimately lead to otitis interna.
Excessively vigorous cleaning of an infected external ear canal can sometimes cause otitis interna. Some ear cleansers are irritating to the middle and inner ear and can cause signs of otitis interna if the eardrum is damaged and allows some of the solution to penetrate too deeply.
You May Like: Antibiotics For Montezumas Revenge
Recommended Reading: Which Probiotic Is Best For Antibiotic Diarrhea
Can I Use Human Eye Drops On Dogs
While your dogs eyes will function much in the same way as ours, there are a number of differences such as a third eyelid, or nictitating membrane or cherry eye, to offer extra protection.
So, while there are certain types of human eye drops that may be safe to use on your dog, such as artificial tear drops, you should never give any medication to your dog without instruction from a professional. If in doubt, for products that are made specifically for dogs only.
If you are concerned that your dog is struggling with their eyes or vision, or you think they may benefit from some eye drops, you should always call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
My Dogs Eye Is Swollen What Do I Do
Its always hard to watch your dog appear to be in pain, and eye infections are some of the worst. Itchy, red, swollen eyes that are watering will just absolutely break your heart. Before getting into what could be wrong and how these issues are treated, you need to know that the first step when dealing with swollen, red eyes is to call your veterinarian and schedule to bring your dog in. Eye infections should be treated as an emergency because there are several reasons for the swelling, and some of these causes can lead to vision loss.
You May Like: Uti Still Hurts On Antibiotics
How To Administer Eye Antibiotics
Eye antibiotics come in the form of liquid drops or ointment. Follow your vet’s instructions for antibiotic dosage. Start by cleaning any discharge from around the eye. Then use your thumb and forefinger to hold the dogs eyelids open, with your palm and other fingers supporting your dog’s jaw and head. With your other hand, administer the antibiotic directly on the eyeball. Do not allow the tip of the dropper to touch the eyeball. Release the dog so he can blink and spread the medicine around his eye. If you are using an ointment, massage the eyelids gently to help spread the medication. Finally, praise and reward your dog for good behavior.
When Would You Use Antibiotics
The presence of opportunistic bacteria is a concern. Usage of open wound antibiotics for dogs should be minimum.
Veterinarians can use a single dose of antibiotics during lavage and debridement. However, it is not necessary to carry forward the antibiotics treatment.
Pet parents must change the dressing daily . This will fix any subclinical infection. If the infected wound is causing swelling and inflammation of the tissue around the wound or your dog is immunosuppressed, the veterinarian may suggest systemic antibiotics.
However, the usage of topical antibiotics for dogs will not extend as the infection leads to profuse exudate.
You May Like: Uti Coming Back During Antibiotics
Environmental Debris Or An Allergic Reaction
Trauma to the eye can occur on the puppy playground, from debris that comes in contact with the eye outside, or just an accident that happens at home. For this reason, some people may choose to put puppy goggles on their dog if theyÃ¢re going to spend a lot of time outdoors, like on a hike or during camping. TheyÃ¢re not only extremely cute, but may help protect your dog from corneal scratches.
ItÃ¢s impossible to tell by looking at your dog if they are experiencing a viral, allergic reaction, or bacterial eye infection. Conjunctivitis related to allergies is less severe than viral conjunctivitis, but still requires a trip to the vet to cure. Though once you see a vet your petÃ¢s symptoms should begin to clear up immediately. Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are very contagious and typically take up to three weeks to heal completely.
Veterinary Diagnosis And Treatment
Eye infections have similar symptoms to more serious ailments, and significant damage to a dogs eye can occur quickly. Vets recommend bringing your dog in within 24 hours if you notice a problem with their eye. A few tests will be performed .
Examining Your Dogs Eye
If you examine your dogs eye and can clearly see a foreign body that you can safely remove, it is probably safe to do so otherwise, leave the exam to the vet.
Your vet will want to take your dogs temperature. This is to check for general health and signs of an infection. They will use an ophthalmoscope and look into a dogs eyes for tumors, foreign bodies and any abnormalities. The vet will note the general health of the eye, including any redness or swelling, any discharge or unusual eye activity.
Testing and Determining the Cause
Your vet will want to run two very straightforward eye tests:
1. Fluorescein test
This test will show the vet if there are any scratches or ulcers on your dogs eye. All the vet does is take a chemically treated strip of paper, place it on the dogs eye, and any problems show up as green, thanks to the chemical Fluorescein.
2. Schirmer tear test
This one says it all in the name its a straightforward and quick test to measure the tear production in your dogs eye. It has been used for over a century and is the most standard, best test for many eye problems in dogs . The vet tell if your pet is producing an average amount of tears or too much or too little due to an infection.
Read Also: Pink Eye Treatment Antibiotic Eye Drops
Homemade Eye Wash For Dogs With Eye Infection
You can also treat eye infection in dogs naturally by combining chamomile with other ingredients to make an eyewash as outlined below:
Natural Antibiotics For Dogs
If you are hesitant in giving your dog a medically prescribed antibiotic, then there are alternative treatments for your dog Natural antibiotics for dogs!
Firstly, why would you not want to use medicinal antibiotics?
- They kill bad bacteria but also GOOD bacteria too that is vital for a healthy digestive system.
- There is a chance of digestive disorders
- There is a chance of disease within the intestinal tract
- There is a risk of allergy
- The risk of resistance to medicinal antibiotics
All natural antibiotics have been used for centuries and are an effective and inexpensive method of treating diseases in dogs.
You May Like: Can Antibiotics Affect Your Period
Preventing Eye Problems In Dogs
First, take a good look at your dog’s eyes. The pupils should be the same size and your dog’s eyes should be bright, crust-free, with white around the iris. There should be little or no tearing, no squinting, and the inner eyelids shouldn’t be visible. Gently pull down your dog’s lower lids: they should be pink, not red or white.
If you see tearing, discharge, tear-stained fur, cloudiness, a visible third eyelid, closed or squinted eyes, or pupils of unequal size, something could be wrong. It’s time to give your vet a call.
To help keep your canine companion’s eyes bright and healthy, keep long hair out of its eyes keep irritants like shampoos, soaps, and flea medicine away from the eyes and, finally, watch for signs that may indicate an eye problem, like redness, pawing, rubbing, and squinting.
Types Of Eye Infections Commonly Seen In Dogs
There are a few different types of eye infections that could cause your canine companion to experience discomfort, redness or sensitivity to light. Below are 4 of the most common types of eye infections in dogs:
- Conjunctivitis – an inflammation of the mucous membrane that covers the outer portion of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelids
- Inflammation of the cornea
- Tear gland issues or physical abnormalities of the eyelid
- Uveitis – an inflammation of one or more inner structures of the eye such as the iris, ciliary body, or choroid