Conjunctivitis in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

The dog owner visits her dog's vet.

What is conjunctivitis in dogs? There are many possible reasons that your dog can get it, from an innate basis to outside factors. If dogs suffer from conjunctivitis, the best policy is to bring them to the vet. Delaying it can cause further complications to the condition of your dog.


Conjunctivitis aka Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the pink tissue within the eyelid called the conjunctiva. This pink tissue is a mucous membrane that goes about as a boundary to infection and foreign objects by coating the eyelid and covering the eyeball. There are two kinds of pink eye in dogs, infectious conjunctivitis and non-infectious conjunctivitis.

Infectious conjunctivitis is rare and occurs because of a bacterial or viral infection. On the other hand, non-infectious conjunctivitis is more commonly seen in dogs’ eyes, which can have various potential grounds. Usually, this condition falls along the hypersensitivities, aggravating substance getting in the eye, dry eye, trauma or injury to the eye, or a natural irregularity. Moreover, conjunctivitis in dogs can be a sign of a more extreme underlying condition like canine distemper.


Symptoms of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

The indications of conjunctivitis in dogs may incorporate:

  • discharge from the eye
  • pawing at the influenced eye
  • squinting and flickering more than usual
  • the whites of the eyes are frequently red, and the encompassing eye area swollen

These signs can likewise be present in other eye conditions such as dry eye and epiphora or excessive tearing. Visiting your vet is necessary to identify the cause.

Conjunctivitis in dogs frequently begins in a single eye and spreads to the next through contamination. Yet, if an allergy, dry eye, or virus is the reason for the condition, the two eyes can be affected from the beginning.

If your dog has conjunctivitis, regardless of whether the symptoms are minor, go to your vet right away. In case the condition is not dealt with quickly, it can cause permanent harm.


Causes of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Various things can result in conjunctivitis, and your vet will have to examine to establish which is at fault. Possible causes can incorporate:The owner checks conjunctivitis in her dog.

  • an allergy, one of the prevalent reason
  • an unfamiliar substance such as a grit or grass seed
  • parasites, such as eye worm
  • an injury
  • dry eye caused by a lack of tears
  • bites in the eye zone
  • eye diseases, like glaucoma
  • a bacterial infection that usually causes yellow or green discharge)
  • a viral infection, like canine distemper or canine herpes


Breed Predisposition

Even though conjunctivitis can happen in any breed of dog or mutt, some breeds are vulnerable to conditions that can put them in greater danger of conjunctivitis. For example, bulldogs, cocker spaniels, and miniature schnauzers are susceptible to dry eye, which is a condition that often leads to non-infectious conjunctivitis.

A disorder called entropion, in which the eyelid turns inward may also contribute to conjunctivitis in dogs. This condition is prevalent among chow chows and shar-pei breeds.


How Is Conjunctivitis in Dogs Treated?

Your vet will provide your dog a complete eye exam to search for the cause in an initial assessment. This assessment will determine the treatment required for your pet.



In case an allergy is the probable reason for your dog’s eye irritation, your vet may recommend steroids or antihistamines. This medication should help the irritation clear up in a couple of days.

In addition to this, if your dog has allergies, conjunctivitis will probably erupt from time to time.


Foreign object

Your dog will generally require sedation to eliminate a foreign object from the eye.

Your vet may likewise need the medical procedure for an impeded tear duct. Your vet will also recommend your dog either antibiotics, eye drops, or both after the surgical procedure.


Bacterial infection

If your vet believes a bacterial infection is a reason, they will frequently give you eye drops containing anti-toxins to treat your canine. In case your vet suspects a more severe underlying cause, they might do further exams.

During recovery, a buster choker might be necessary to keep your dog from scratching at their eyes and bringing about any further complications.


To sum up, dogs make a full recovery. However, in rare cases, conjunctivitis can leave them with sight issues or scars on the eye. Or then again, depending on the cause, they may have to remain on treatment permanently. The primary treatment provides your dog the absolute best possibility of staying away from these eye problems.


Important Reminders

The vet examines the dog's eyes.Natural and home remedies might help give relief to your dog. However, it is still necessary to get your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

It is incredibly impossible that you can get conjunctivitis in dogs. Non-infectious conjunctivitis is not contagious. In any case, if your dog’s pink eye is because of a rare bacterial or viral infection, the condition can be transmitted by your dog to other puppies. If you speculate your dog might have conjunctivitis, it is a smart thought to keep your puppy isolated from other dogs. Also, keep in mind to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after taking care of your dog to keep the contamination from spreading to other animals.

In case your dog shares bedding or dishes with other pets, he should have his bedding and food and water dishes until his pink eye clears up. Remember to wash everything thoroughly to prevent the condition from spreading. It would help if you allowed any extra guardians, like dog walkers, pet sitters, or dog daycare attendants. Lastly, be aware of your dog’s condition and the safety precaution you need to contain.

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