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Conjunctivitis in dogs

Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Conjunctivitis in puppies and dogs is a common eye disorder.

Although conjunctivitis is common in humans the causative bacteria are different. Therefore, people cannot contract dog conjunctivitis from their pets. The tissue lining the eyelids is known as conjunctiva.

The conjunctiva acts as a protective barrier against the entry of viruses and bacteria that can affect the eyes. When the conjunctiva in dogs gets inflamed or infected, the condition is described as conjunctivitis. Puppies and dogs are susceptible to eye allergies due to exposure to grass, pollen and other allergens that can irritate the eyes.

Dog Conjunctivitis Symptoms

Allergic reactions can trigger a particular type of conjunctivitis known as follicular conjunctivitis in dogs. This type of conjunctivitis turns the white and pink areas of the eyes into red. The key symptoms associated with conjunctivitis are:

  • Excessive blinking of eyes
  • Excessive fluid build up or teary eyes
  • Rubbing the eyes with the paws
  • Rubbing the face on the floor or against other objects
  • Redness of eyes
  • Watery discharge from the eyes
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva
  • Squinting or inability to completely open or close eyes
  • Thick and sticky yellow or green discharge

Preventing Conjunctivitis in Dogs

It is important to diagnose and treat conjunctivitis in canines immediately to avoid serious risks such as visual impairment. If left untreated, the infection that caused conjunctivitis slowly spreads to other parts of the eyes damaging the visual ability. Conjunctivitis may also be an indication of other health disorders among dogs. Such allergies are not contagious among dogs and cannot be transmitted to other dogs.

Causes of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

The key causes that may lead to conjunctivitis are:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infections
  • Exposure to allergens
  • Exposure to foreign elements
  • Eyelid infections
  • Corneal disorders and
  • Other skin diseases that may trigger conjunctivitis

Diagnosis of Puppy Conjunctivitis

A physical examination of the eyes may be followed by tests such as Schirmer tear test and Flourescein staining. Flourescein staining test help determine the possibility of any other abrasions or ulcers while Schirmer tear test helps ascertain whether tears produced are sufficient for the well being of the eyes.

Prevention of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Wash the eyes with warm water by pouring the water over the eyes. Soak a cotton pad with water and clean around the eyes. Do not apply the soaked cotton pad directly over the eyes. Keep the eyes clean at all times but avoid excessive washing or cleansing routines. Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar can also be used as an effective home remedy. A cotton pad soaked in Apple Cider Vinegar can be used to cleanse the eyes. Never use sharp objects such as grooming combs around the face and eye area of a dog.


  Submitted on May 10, 2010  

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