Dog Pink Eye
A Quick Guide to Dog Pinkeye
The eye problem that you will see the most in dogs is dog pinkeye. It is an inflammation of the eye or eye lid. There really is not any difference between dog pinkeye and pinkeye in humans. It is not a serious problem but could become one if not treated properly. Left untreated, dog pinkeye can become a more serious infection which could affect your dogs adversely.
If the eyes are not swollen and there is no obvious eye injury, just a pinkness under and around the eye, you can begin by treating dog pinkeye yourself. Get a very clean, soft cloth and run lukewarm water over it. Using the cloth, wipe your dog’s eye and gently get rid of any discharge that is running out of the eye. If your dog’s eye is having frequent discharges, you will need to wipe the eye clean two to three times every day. Sometimes a cotton ball soaked in lukewarm water will work well too.
Gently wash out the eye with water or with an eyewash made for dogs. Lie a cloth that has been soaked in lukewarm water over the eye or both eyes. If your dog is afraid to have his eyes covered, do one eye at a time. You just want the eye to stay warm and wet. Apply this treatment for 3-4 days and see if the pinkeye is clearing up. If not, you should next take your dog to the vet as he might need antibiotics to clear up the pinkeye.
One other thing you should do is to explore the possibilities of why your dog may have pinkeye. Dog pinkeye is not unique to dogs. Dogs can get pinkeye from humans and vice versa. The same situation applies to cats. Pinkeye can be spread among dogs, cats and humans. So, if a child or someone else in the family suffers from pinkeye and pets the dog after touching their eyes, your dog can get pinkeye as well.
Then there are causes of dog pinkeye that are something only a dog would do. An example of one of these is when your dog goes for an automobile ride, the window is down, and he hangs his head out the window as you drive along. If you take the time to watch cars going by in the summer, you will see that this is a common situation. Anything that is in the air, such as dirt, bugs, pollen, etc. can get into the dog’s eye and cause irritation. This irritation can cause dog pinkeye.
Another eye irritation for dogs can be long hair which falls down over the eyes. Sometimes long eyelashes can also be a problem. You may need to keep all of the dog’s facial hair trimmed nicely so it does not irritate the eyes. Allergies can cause dog pinkeye because it makes the eyes swollen and runny. Dog conjunctivitis, another name for pinkeye, is not usually painful and it does not affect the dog’s vision.
The only long-term problems can be from continuous pinkeye that becomes infected. That’s why if the pinkeye does not clear up in a 3-7 days, a trip to the vet is a necessity. Antibiotics can help clear up the problem. They most likely will be in the form of antibiotic eye drops and not an injection. Eye scrubs are also available from the vet or from a pet store. These can help get rid of any particles that might still be in the eye. Once your dog is better, try to keep him from repeating the activity that caused the pinkeye in the first place. For instance, if your dog likes to ride with his head out the window, you can compromise by closing the window when you are driving fast, such as on an interstate, and roll it down when you are driving slowly in local or city traffic.