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Dog Eye Infection: The Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Does your dog have harmless eye goop, or is it an eye infection? Knowing the difference can keep your pooch's eyes healthy. How to tell if your dog is suffering from an eye infection?

Every dog will show different signs of suffering from eye infections.

Here are some of the symptoms of eye infections you should take note of in your dog:

  • When their eyes are weeping or watering a little more than usual.
  • If you observe an eye discharge that is colored yellow, white, or green.
  • Repeated blinking or squinting when they're not in an area with bright light.
  • When your dog is pawing at their eyes, it could be a sign of eye infection.
  • Dog and cat eyes are sometimes a bit red, but if you see increased redness, or swelling it could be a symptom of infection.
  • When their eyes are cloudy or yellowish.

If you notice your dog exhibiting any of these symptoms, keep an eye on them. If the condition persists or gets worse, please talk to a vet for professional advice. They will help you to keep your four-legged friend's eyes looking good.

When Should You Take Fido in to See a Vet?

It's best not to delay dog eye infection treatment for too long. As soon as you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, don't hesitate. Take your furry friend to the vet immediately. Eyes are sensitive organs and should be looked after with a high level of care.

Eye problems treated by a vet will help the dog avoid any further pain and discomfort. Tackling these problems early on will ensure that what looks like a harmless eye discharge won't turn into long-term damage. 

It's crucial that you visit a vet instead of relying on home remedies for dog eye infection cases. You may have come across the following home remedies:

  • Artificial tears
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cold compresses
  • Saline solution
  • Dog collars (to stop the dog from pawing at their eyes)

Although some of them may ease the dog's discomfort, a vet has vast knowledge on how to treat dog eye infections. Avoid internet advice, home remedies, and unsolicited advice through social media, and go straight to a professional for a proper dog eye infection remedy.

Seeing a vet for an infection dog eye treatment is very important, but one of the main reasons to avoid home remedies and see the vet is that the infection may be conjunctivitis and not just an eye discharge. 

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of clear tissue covering the dog's eye and the inside of the dog's eyelid. By not seeing a vet, this condition – left untreated – could create lasting and permanent damage and may even lead to blindness.

Are Home Remedies Enough to Treat Eye Infections in Dogs?

To make your furry friend more comfortable, you could use some natural treatments at home. However, home treatments are only meant to be for symptomatic relief and not a cure. Only a vet is qualified to know the causes of dog eye infections and how to treat them.

Your vet will discuss the best possible treatments to help your dog deal with uncomfortable and painful eye infections. The vet will do an examination, explain your dog's diagnosis to you, and tell you the best course of action for treatment is.

A close examination will determine what to do for dog eye infection based on the dog's specific needs. The examination may include:

  • Removing an object from the dog's eye.
  • Analyzing an eye discharge.
  • Prescribing a particular medication.
  • Performing surgery on the dog.

Although vet bills can run high, treating your dog's eye infection at home without professional help is simply not worth the risk. There's a reason a dog is known as man's best friend. It's important to care for them just as much as their loyal little hearts care for you!

How Can Dog Eye Infections Be Prevented?

There are so many potential causes for your dog's eye infection, and it's nearly impossible to prevent all of them. Here are some preventative steps you could take: 

  • Keep your dog's eyes and the areas around them clean, and your pooch will have a much better chance of avoiding eye infections. Dirt and foreign objects like dust, hair, and other debris could get into the eye and irritate or damage it. 
  • If you have a dog with a lot of long fur, trim the hairs around your dog's eyes to prevent it from irritating their eyes. 
  • Check your dog's eyes regularly, and be hands-on with the care needed to keep your puppy's eyes clear and free from harm. If you spot something unusual, take them to the vet and get treatment early.

Look Out for Epiphora

Do dogs cry? Not in the way you humans do – so you should specifically look out for when your dog seems to be crying. This is a sign they may be suffering from epiphora, a medical term for when a dog's eye produces too many tears and waters excessively. 

  • You'll notice this in many dogs where the tears are running down their cheeks and seem to be permanently in place as stains or damp lines on the dog's face.
  • Some dog breeds are naturally prone to tearing, but it could also be due to an eye infection, because there is something in the eye that needs to be removed. 

Even in those specific breeds where tearing is natural, contacting a vet is the best way to make sure it's genetics and not epiphora, irritation, or infection. It may look like your dog is crying, but a trained professional will know instantly if epiphora is the case.

Possible Causes for Dog Eye Infections

Dog eye infections are as varied as the breeds themselves. In humans, eye infections are mainly caused by some form of viral or bacterial infection. In dogs, however, it is a bit tougher to diagnose. 

Conditions such as allergies, dry eye, and eyelid structural irregularities can also cause a bacterial infection, which means that dog eye infections are, for the most part, not contagious. 

The most common causes for an infection in dog eye can include:

  • Allergic reactions to foreign substances.
  • Dogs born with congenital disabilities.
  • Abnormal tear ducts.
  • An injury to the eye.
  • Dry eyes.
  • A foreign object in the eye.
  • Eye tumors.

There is one highly contagious eye infection that dogs are at risk. This is called pink eye, and is a highly infectious form of conjunctivitis caused by a viral or bacterial infection. 

Because of this, it's important to keep your dog away from other dogs if you notice redness and swelling in your dog's eyes. It may be pink eye, and by isolating them until you can have them seen by a professional, you will help reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

Keeping Your Dog's Eyes Healthy and Happy

Maintaining your dog's health is just as important as a run in the park or a game of fetch.

  • Checking their eyes regularly is key to making sure your dog's eyes are in perfect shape. 
  • Take them to the vet regularly for health visits that include physical checkups and any medications or vaccines needed – and make sure you ask your vet to include an eye check. 

By following all these steps, you'll have a dog that is free of eye infections and possible eye damage in the future. With minimal effort, you can save your dog from a lengthy period of discomfort. 

Keeping your pet's eyes healthy and harm-free is one of the most important things you can do for them. Your best friend will give you a tail-wagging thank you for caring for them!

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