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Dog Eye Infection

Dog eye infections are very common and need to be addressed immediately as the eye is a delicate organ. This article covers some information on the different types of eye infections, which you can use to help your pet dog.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Eye infections can affect the healthiest of dogs as any foreign object or pathogen can invade their delicate eyes. The eye lashes, eyelids, and tears are the protective gear of eyes, but they cannot protect the eyes from every dust particle, pathogen, or abrasion. This leads to swelling of the eyes, discharge, and redness that irritates the animal. There are a few common eye infections that are covered in detail in this article.
Eye Infection in Dogs
The following causes of eye infections will help you understand more about eye problems that affect dogs and various symptoms that will help you seek prompt medical intervention.
The most common eye problem in dogs is conjunctivitis. This is caused by bacteria like Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, or a viral infection. The other causes of conjunctivitis are as follows.
  • Inflammation of the tear sac
  • Herpes
  • Lyme Disease
  • Eye discharge
  • Foreign object lodged inside the eye
Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
  • Redness or Pink eye
  • Dryness in the eye
  • Inflammation
  • Thick exudate
Treatment of Conjunctivitis

You should try to clean the discharge from the dog's eyelids with a clean, soft, and wet cotton ball. Use lukewarm water and soak the cotton. Squeeze the excess water and gently wipe the discharge. You can repeat this home remedy twice or thrice a day. You can even use an OTC scrub to help ease the infection. The scrub will help the dog shed some tears and wash away the causative agent. You can even apply a warm compress to the dog's eyes for about 5 minutes. If your dog has long hair, grooming becomes important. You should cut the hair around the eyes short, as the hair may irritate the eyes. Many times, the hair around the corners of the eyes can lead to conjunctivitis.
Glaucoma is a serious eye infection that may lead to blindness. There is increased pressure on the eye balls due to a blockage of the fluids in the eye, preventing them from draining.

Symptoms of Glaucoma
  • Redness
  • Cloudiness
  • Enlarged pupils
Treatment of Glaucoma

The vet may administer aqueous formation suppressors, hyperosomotic agents, neuroprotection agents, etc. The vet may advice common drugs like Methazolamide to ease corneal pressure and trimolol opth solution or trusopt ophthalmic solution to decrease the pressure.
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
This is another serious canine eye problem that is also known as dry eye in simple language. There is inadequate production of tears and this leads to an inflammation of the cornea. Dry eye is characterized by erosion of the cornea that leads to ulcers. This is caused by abnormalities in the tear ducts, herpes virus, trauma, disease of tear ducts, facial nerve paralysis, etc.

Symptoms of Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
  • Eyes become too dry
  • Cornea may be damaged
  • Ulcers on the eyes
  • In some cases, development of a chronic eye infection
Treatment of Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca

The vet may administer artificial tear drops that are similar to natural tears. Tear stimulants, anti-inflammatory eye drops, and oral anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed by the vet.
Juvenile Cellulitis
Juvenile cellulitis or puppy strangles is caused by a bacterial infection. The main symptoms of juvenile cellulitis are blisters around the eyes. The blisters are also seen around the lips, mouth, nose, and ears. The dog's eyes become irritated due to the blisters, and then these blisters develop into ulcers. The secondary symptoms observed include enlarged lymph glands and anorexia.
General Infection Symptoms
A dog suffering from an eye infection will show several symptoms that can affect one or both the eyes. The following are a few general symptoms that you may observe in your dog.
  • Eye Discharge: You may observe a thick greenish or yellow discharge from the eyes.
  • Redness and swelling in the eye: The eyelids and the area around the eyes swell and become red, indicating an eye infection.
  • Bloodshot Eyes: The eyes become bloodshot red.
  • Squinting: A dog with an eye infection will squint.
  • Frequent Pawing of the Eye: The eye infection will make the dog paw the affected eye due to irritation and pain.
Home Remedies
There are many medical treatments available to treat these infections that can be prescribed by a veterinarian. You can try some home remedies that can help ease the pain and irritation your dog may be experiencing. If you notice any symptoms, the first thing to do is wash the dog's eyes with saline water. Just add 1 teaspoon salt in a glass of mineral water and wipe the dog's eyes with a cotton ball dipped in this saline water. This is one of the best remedies.
You can wash the dog's eyes with cool Chamomile tea. Dip a cotton ball in a cooled boiled water of Chamomile and clean the dog's eyes. You can even soak a bag of Chamomile tea in cool water and apply it as a cool compress over the dog's eyes for a few minutes. You can apply the compress 3-4 times a day. This will help reduce the redness, swelling, and discharge. You can even try a herbal eyewash. Add a quarter teaspoon of salt to mineral water and add 10 drops of herbal extracts like eyebright, calendula, chamomile, red clover, or St. John's wort, to it. You can administer this herbal solution on the dog's eyes 3-4 times a day using an eye dropper.
If you find none of the above methods to be helpful, then visit the veterinarian. The cause of the eye infection may be more than a simple bacterial infection. Many dogs have cataracts and that may lead to clouding of the lens and the dog may turn blind over time. It may also happen that some foreign body has lodged into the eye tissue which is causing constant irritation and redness of the eye. Many times, there may be a gradual detachment of the retina in older dogs, which may lead to blindness. Therefore, follow the advice of the vet and help save your dog's eyes. An eye infection is one of the common dog illnesses that can turn grave if proper precautions are not taken. Make sure that you feed healthy dog food to your pet , as a healthy dog will have a stronger immune system to fight infections and diseases.