Dog Eye Infection | Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Dog Eye Infection | Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

dog eye infection

Have you noticed that your dog is having red, inflamed, itchy eye and releasing smelly discharge? If yes, then, don’t be panic because dog eye infection is a treatable condition. But in cases, if left untreated it can lead to blindness. There are some common eye problems including conjunctivitis in dogs, epiphora, glaucoma, dry eye, abnormal eyelids and bacterial or viral dog eye infection. There are a variety of signs and causes of every condition. We will look into signs, causes, diagnosis and dog eye infection treatment and also how to prevent it.

Dog Eye Infection Symptoms

 Most commonly seen dog eye infection symptoms include

  • Redness  
  • Inflammation of swelling
  • Smelly discharge
  • Excessive watering from eyes
  • Squinting and increased blinking
  • Pawning at eyes in case of itchy eyes
  • Light sensitivity

What Causes a Dog Eye Infection?

    There are two main causes for eye infections in dogs are

Bacteria

As a result, when dog get scratches in eyes with his paws or any injury causing damage to the cornea (clear eye tissue), bacteria as an opportunistic microorganism start reproducing at a rapid rate. And it will end up in eye infection. Tears act as a self-rinsing solution and protect the eyes from being exposed to bacteria. By some fault, if tear production becomes less or something blocks partially or completely tear ducts, bacteria will develop a colony and cause an eye infection.

Viruses

Some of the viruses such as distemper can cause an eye infection.  

Other causes than bacteria and viruses include scratches or injury to eye, irritants, dust, less production of tears and foreign bodies in eyes.

Conjunctivitis In Dogs

 Inflammation of conjunctiva is known as conjunctivitis in dogs. Conjunctivitis or pink eye in dogs is most common in dogs. It can be infectious or non-infectious (caused by trauma or injury). The Conjunctiva is a mucous membrane that lines the eyeball and third eyelid in dogs and performs a crucial role in making a barrier against foreign particles for the protection of the eye. When this membrane gets inflamed and becomes red causative agents like bacteria or virus get the opportunity to cause the infection. There are a variety of causes of conjunctivitis in dogs but allergy is a common one. Conjunctivitis in dogs can be a symptom of eye infection and even in some cases, the infection could be secondary to conjunctivitis in dogs. Infectious conjunctivitis in dogs is contagious but non-infectious conjunctivitis cannot be transmitted from one to other.

How to Diagnose Eye Infection in Dogs?

Your Veterinarian will observe the condition of the eye with a light source and can also walk your dog to observe the sight.

Dilation drops will allow looking at the back of the eye and examination of the optic nerve.

Measurement of intraocular pressure will help Veterinarian to figure out glaucoma cases. Your Vet can also run tests for underlying causes such as allergy or autoimmune disorders.

Schirmer Tear test; The test is designed for measurement of tear production level. With the help of this test, the Vet can conclude whether the high production or low production of tears is a problem causing.

The Fluorescent stain; Your Vet will apply a film of stain into the eye of an infected dog. The stain will appear green at points where the eye has scratches or injury. It will help to pinpoint the injured areas in an infected eye.

Dog Eye Infection Treatment

Your veterinarian will prescribe you the best treatment plan after diagnosing the real issue. Topical medications are used in almost every case and eye care products including eye drops and ointments will be helpful to care for your dog at home. Rinsing the dog eye with sterile saline solutions can also ameliorate the condition. But before rinsing, you should wipe out the eye discharge with the help of warm washcloth.

Don’t use eye drops medication for humans in your pets as dogs can cause adverse reactions to these.

Always consult a veterinarian if your dog shows any adverse symptoms.

Antibiotics For Dog Eye Infection

Your vet will prescribe you the best antibiotic for dog eye infection after thorough diagnosis. Usually, Chloramphenicol and Ciprofloxacin Ophthalmic eye drops are among the first choice of many Veterinarians.

5 Tips to Prevent The Dog Eye Infection

  • Always consider closing the window when you are travelling with your canine friend. As it will reduce the chance of dust, sand particles and plant material to get into dog eye.
  • Trimming of hairs around the eye will decrease the chances of scratches due to hairs.
  • Vaccinating your dog will prevent viral dog eye infections. So, ensure the vaccination schedule of your puppy or dog.
  • Put on your dog goggles especially if you are living in windy areas or desert areas.
  • Avoid dusty environment.
Hammad Ali (DVM)