Canine conjunctivitis, a condition similar to pink eye in people, should be treated promptly, as it can lead to more serious conditions and diseases in dogs.
Simply stated, dog conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva of your dog’s eyes. The conjunctiva is a very thin membrane on the inside of your dog’s eyelid, and it actually extends to the cornea of the eye.
The conjunctiva makes tears, protects the eyes from foreign invaders and helps heal the cornea, if it is injured.
Contrary to what you may think, dogs of any age contract canine conjunctivitis.
We see this condition in younger dogs, as well as seniors.
Dog Pink Eye
Usually the conjunctiva guards the eyes and prevents bacteria and viruses from entering your dog’s eyes.
However, sometimes the conjunctiva itself gets irritated, itchy and sore. When this happens, your dog has canine conjunctivitis, or dog pink eye.
Conjunctivitis has a number of causes:
- irritation from fumes or pollution
- foreign body in the eye (dirt, matter, etc.)
- a dog’s hanging its head out the window of a car
- entropion (turning inward of the eyelid)
- trichaisis (growing inward of the eyelashes)
- ectropion (turning outward of the lower eyelid)
- sinusitis or other respiratory infections
- blocked tear ducts
Symptoms of Canine Conjunctivitis
The symptoms of dog conjunctivitis are similar to those seen in people with Pink Eye. The whites of the eyes will appear to be red and swollen. Often you will see lots of tears and sometimes pus coming from your dog’s eyes.
Canine conjunctivitis in one eye is usually caused by a foreign object, inflammation of the tear duct or dry eye.
However, if your dog has canine conjunctivitis in both eyes, it is usually an infection, caused by a virus or bacteria. Because your dog’s eyes will hurt, you will see him rubbing his eyes with his paws and blinking a lot.
Usually the veterinarian will diagnose the condition, based on symptoms. In addition, he may also want to do a culture. A culture will determine exactly what kind of organism is infecting your dog’s eyes. When your vet knows what is infecting your dog, he will know what treatment to suggest!
Often you can prevent or heal an eye infection by using a product like Zoetis Animal Health Terramycin Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment . This soothes simple irritations and prevents further injury to the eyes.
Treatment of Conjunctivitis in Dogs
Treatment is fairly simple. First, you need to clean your dog’s eyes. This is to remove any foreign bodies or organisms.
Following that, you will probably have to use eye drops for conjunctivitis daily and possibly medicine by mouth.
If your dog has had problems with canine conjunctivitis, consider using a non-irritating product like Vetericyn Plus Animal Eye Wash to prevent dog eye problems in the future.
Of all the dog eye problems that you could encounter, dog conjunctivitis is probably the least troublesome. If handled promptly, it is usually easy to treat and your dog will recover fully.