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Dog Eye Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

The eye of a golden retriever examined by a vet for a possible dog eye infection

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Redness, itching, discomfort. That’s how we experience eye infections. Thankfully, we know exactly what to do and who to call when that is the case. However, a dog eye infection is also possible. And our canine companions unfortunately don’t have it as easy as we do. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the signs of a eye infection in dogs on time and take the right steps to their recovery.

If left untreated, a dog eye infection can lead to vision loss, or in worst case scenarios – blindness!

Types of eye infections

The basic types of eye infections in dogs are:

  1. Conjunctivitis – The inflammation of the conjunctiva.
  2. Inflammation of the cornea
  3. Uveitis – Inflammation of the interior portion of the eye.

Causes of dog infections in dogs

The most common causes of eye infections in dogs are

  1. Viruses (Herpes, Influenza, Hepatitis)
  2. Bacteria (Leptospirosis, Brucellosis)
  3. Fungus
  4. Parasites
  5. Foreign bodies
  6. Irritants
  7. Trauma

Symptoms of canine eye infections

  1. Redness
  2. Itchiness, pawing at the eye
  3. Swelling
  4. Blinking
  5. Squinting
  6. Light sensitivity
  7. Holding the eyes closed
  8. Discharge from the eye

Diagnosing eye infections

If you notice any of the stated symptoms in your dog, take him to the vet. The vet will most likely proceed with an eye examination. This includes a visual examination of the eye with a good light source. However, this can also include procedures such as:

  1. Measuring the intraocular pressure, looking for signs of glaucoma
  2. Eye pupil dilation with special eye drops. This will allow your dog to examine the back of the eye including the optic nerve.
  3. Allergy tests
  4. Bacterial culture
  5. Schirmer Tear Test — measures the eye’s tear production

Preventing a dog eye infection

There are different ways to prevent an eye infection in dogs. This includes steps such as:

  1. Avoiding trauma to the eye
  2. Trimming the hair around your dog’s eyes
  3. Protecting your dog’s eyes with goggles when needed
  4. Keeping your dog’s face clean
  5. Washing your hands before coming close to your dog’s eyes
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