Pink eye or conjunctivitis in dogs is an unpleasant inflammation. Let’s see why…
Maybe one of the most common problems our dog may face is pink eye. Scientifically speaking, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a mucous membrane covering the eyeball and the eyelid. It may manifest in one or both eyes. Conjunctivitis in dogs also causes your dog to produce a discharge and to develop red, swollen eyelids.
The dog does not typically experience pain. However, you should pay attention if the dog tends to close its eye or even press on it, this might be a symptom of uveitis or glaucoma (eye disease in which the pressure within the eye is increased).
As a consequence of this problem, your dog may develop an intolerance to sunlight, which may turn into a visual impairment. Secretions may be similar to mucus (mucoids) or to pus (purulent). The most common implication of pink eye in dogs is an inadequate volume of tears.
There are three main types of conjunctivitis in dogs:
- Serous conjunctivitis: the membranes turn pink-colored and appear slightly swollen. The dog exhibits watery and clear ocular discharge. This type of conjunctivitis is caused by irritants, like cold, wind, or dust. This allergic conjunctivitis is usually accompanied by itching (pruritus), so we may see our dog scratching its nose.
- Purulent conjunctivitis: it is an infected serous conjunctivitis. It is generally caused by bacteria. The conjunctiva shows reddening and inflammation. Discharge contains mucus and pus.
- Follicular conjunctivitis (mucoid conjunctivitis): in this case, the mucous glands (follicles) react to an infection or eye irritant. This forms a rough, cobblestone surface, irritating the eye. The resulting discharge is similar to mucus. Puppies and young dogs are prone to this type of conjunctivitis. This illness usually subsides with age.
Conjunctivitis in Dogs: The Best Remedies and Cure
No matter the type of conjunctivitis, it must be treated to avoid much more serious implications that may damage our four-legged friend’s sight.
Serous conjunctivitis may be treated safely by washing the eyes 3 or 4 times a day with an ocular rinse containing sterile saline solution or, alternatively, eye drops.
Otherwise, follicular conjunctivitis may be treated with ocular ointments that contain antibiotics or corticosteroids prescribed by the vet.
Purulent conjunctivitis requires a special test and veterinary attention.
It is essential to keep the eye as clean as possible, removing any pus or mucus. To do this, you can use a cotton ball dampened with sterile eye drops. Of course this must be combined with prescribed treatment by the vet.
If your dog is affected by this unpleasant condition, it is important that you keep your dog from scratching its eye and therefore worsening the situation.
In these cases, depending on the type of conjunctivitis, it may be useful to get yourself a buster (or Elizabethan) collar. It is certainly bothersome to your loyal friend, but it may prove useful to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Conjunctivitis in Dogs: What to Do When It Affects Puppies
Sometimes, conjunctivitis may affect puppies, even when their little eyes are not separated yet.
In fact, the infection affecting the back of the eyelids may occur before or after their eyes separate (generally around their 10-14 days of life).
This form of canine conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria that may penetrate the back area of the eyelids immediately after birth.
We must suspect the presence of neonatal conjunctivitis when the eyelids appear swollen or characterized by protuberances.
In this case, you must immediately inform your vet, because untreated or not prompt treatment may result in corneal damage or even blindness.
Conjunctivitis in Dogs: Find a Professional
If you have more doubts, you may consult a professional near your house, who will provide the best service and answer all your questions.