Conjunctivitis affects many dogs, and it has many causes.
Something is wrong with your dog’s eye. It’s bright red or oozing pus or itching like crazy. Could it be pink eye? This common childhood condition, also known as red eye or conjunctivitis, affects people, cats and our canine companions.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue covering the eye and inner surface of the eyelid.
If caused by bacteria or viruses, it can be infectious. Noninfectious conjunctivitis can be caused by allergic reactions, irritants or trauma injuries.
While contagious conjunctivitis is common among cats and children, most canine cases involve seasonal allergies or pollen exposure, injuries like cuts or scratches, or the presence of a small foreign object – anything from a grain of sand to a sliver of bark, piece of grass, tiny leaf or small insect. In those cases, secondary bacterial infections may develop.
The symptoms to watch for are eye redness, discharge, swelling, squinting, excessive blinking, sensitivity to light, pawing at the eyes, or rubbing the face and eyes on floors, the ground or other surfaces.
If you think your dog might have conjunctivitis, see your veterinarian. An eye exam can rule out corneal diseases, disorders of the tear ducts or tear production, eyelid abnormalities or parasites of the conjunctiva or eyelids.
What you can do
Check your dog’s eyes daily.
Report any redness, discharge, itching, squinting or other symptoms to your veterinarian.
Use saline solution to flush irritants or foreign objects from the eye.
Treat simple conjunctivitis with herbal or medicinal eye drops.
Recurring or chronic conjunctivitis requires an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.