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Dog Eye Infection

Dog Eye Infection

Eye infections can have a number of different causes behind them but one thing is the same across the board, they are painful for your pup. Here our Rancho Cucamonga vets talk about the types of eye infections in dogs, what causes them and what you should do when they occur.

What are the different types of dog eye infections?

A few different types of eye infections could cause your canine companion to experience discomfort, redness or sensitivity to light. Here are four of the most common types of eye infections in dogs:

  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) - an inflammation of the mucous membrane that covers the outer portion of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelids
  • Inflammation of the cornea
  • Tear gland issues or physical abnormalities of the eyelid
  • Uveitis - an inflammation of one or more inner structures of the eye such as the iris, ciliary body,  or choroid

What are some of the causes of eye infections?

There are a number of different conditions that can lead to eye infections. If your dog experiences an eye infection it could be because of one of these conditions:

  • Viruses (distemper, herpes, hepatitis, or canine influenza)
  • Bacteria (canine brucellosis, leptospirosis, canine ehrlichiosis, or Lyme disease)
  • Fungus spores
  • Irritants or allergens, such as smoke or shampoo
  • Foreign matter or debris (dirt, grass seed, or even your dog's own hair)
  • Trauma
  • Parasites
  • Scratch or cut on the cornea

Some Eye Issues Have the Same Symptoms

Did you know that there will be times when symptoms point to eye infections but are actually a different condition entirely?

Some of the eye conditions in dogs that are commonly assumed by pet owners to be infections include glaucoma, tear duct problems or eye defects, dry eye, vitamin deficiency, exposure to or ingestion of toxins, tumors, cherry eye, or structural problems of the eye itself such as entropion. 

These other eye infections can cause pain and discomfort just as an eye infection would so early treatment is still important.

Conditions such as glaucoma, while not an infection, cause extreme pain and need the attention of a vet right away.

What are the common symptoms associated with eye infections?

Eye infections will not clear up on their own and require treatment, so if your dog is displaying any symptoms of an eye infection contact our vet ophthalmology department in Rancho Cucamonga.

The typical symptoms of an eye infection in dogs include:

  • Redness of the eye or surrounding the eye
  • Swelling around eye
  • Watery discharge or tearing
  • Thick, smelly discharge
  • Squinting and blinking
  • Holding eye closed
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pawing or rubbing at the eye

What are some of the treatment options for eye infections in dogs?

Treatment for your dog's eye infection will depend upon the underlying cause. Still, it could involve a combination of topical and oral medications such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, a single topical medication or in some cases surgery.

  • If a bacterial infection is found to be causing your dog's eye infection, antibiotics and eye drops will typically be prescribed.
  • When allergies are the suspected cause of eye infections in dogs, the vet is likely to prescribe an antihistamine to help soothe your pup's eyes.
  • If there is a foreign body, or debris irritating the eye your vet may need to remove it while your dog is under sedation or local anesthetic.
  • Blocked tear ducts typically require surgery followed by eye drops and antibiotics.
  • Dogs suffering from dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) may be prescribed medications such as cyclosporine or tacrolimus to help stimulate tear production.
  • Eyelid or eyelash abnormalities that cause the lashes to rub against the eyeball are generally treated with surgery to correct the issue.

What should you do if your dog is showing the signs of an eye infection?

The fact is that if your dog is experiencing any eye sensitivity, irritation, or pain it's time to head to your vet. At Rancho Regional Veterinary Hospital we have a veterinary ophthalmology department to help diagnose and address any conditions affecting your dog's eyes.

Your veterinarian will be able to conduct a thorough eye exam to determine the cause of your pup's symptoms and provide effective treatment to help your dog's eyes feel better. Left untreated eye infections can become severe and may result in loss of vision.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is showing the signs of a potential eye infection contact our vets in Rancho Cucamonga right away for an examination.

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Rancho Regional Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Rancho Cucamonga companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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