This brief article covers how you can recognize, treat and prevent a dog eye infection and why this is important.
Dog eye infections
Your dog’s eyes are very sensitive instruments and unfortunately they’re prone to many different kinds of infections. Your dog, of course, is not able to clean his eyes for himself so it’s your responsibility to care for them. It is up to you to clean the eyes daily, especially the crud that forms at the corners of the eyes and is a fertile breeding ground for bacteria.
This bacteria is one of the major causes of dog eye infection. Other causes are irritants such as shampoo or soap, foreign bodies such as dirt, and viruses.
Dog eye infection symptoms
The first sign of an eye infection in your dog is often redness and swelling, accompanied by a thick, discolored discharge. The eyes may also appear bloodshot and your dog may seem like it’s squinting. Often your dog will also paw at his eyes, and of course this just makes matters worse.
If your dog is showing signs of these symptoms then you’ll need to take him to a vet for an examination. The vet will need to determine the root cause of the problem, because the symptoms of eye infection can be similar to those for allergies and eye problems can also be a sign of some other issues.
Which dogs are most at risk?
Some dog breeds are more prone to eye infections than others. Breeds that suffer from tear staining, including the Maltese, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu and similar small dogs, are particularly at risk because the damp, “tear-stained” areas attract bacteria.
Flat-faced breeds such as pugs and boxers are also susceptible to eye problems because their eyes tend to stick out more and their eye sockets are shallow.
How to prevent dog eye infections
To avoid infections, you must keep your dog’s eyes clean. As part of your dog’s daily grooming routine, wipe their eyes clean with a damp cotton ball, clearing away the discharge that gathers in the corners of the eyes.
You should also groom and carefully trim the fur around the eyes to prevent long hair from getting into them. And if your dog is a breed that has tear staining, you can also wipe this area clean with a special tear stain remover, such as Angels Eyes.
We recommend that you also try and keep shampoo, soap and other irritants away from your dogs eyes as much as possible.
How to treat eye infections
As mentioned earlier, if your dog does get an eye infection, you should take them to the vet for antibiotic treatment. Also, if the dog eye infection turns out to be conjunctivitis, you may need to have any other pets in your home treated too, because it is highly contagious. You may be given eye drops or ointment to treat your dog’s eye infection. These will come with instructions on how to apply them.