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What is Conjunctivitis in Dogs?

What is it?

Canine conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that lines the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye in dogs.

How is it Treated?

Treatment is guided by the underlying cause. Bacterial conjunctivitis is treated with antibiotics while viral and allergic conjunctivitis is usually treated with steroids and supportive care.

Breed Predispositions

Snubbed-nose breeds (brachycephalic breeds) and Cocker spaniels, Poodles, Lhasa Apsos, Shar Pei, St. Bernards, and Bloodhounds


Oliver had always taken pride in caring for his loyal Dachshund, Daisy, ensuring she was happy and healthy. One morning, however, he noticed that Daisy’s eyes were red and swollen, with a thick discharge accumulating in the corners. Worried about his beloved pet’s sudden change in appearance, Oliver took Daisy to the veterinarian for a thorough evaluation. The vet diagnosed Daisy with conjunctivitis, a common but treatable eye condition in dogs.

Canine conjunctivitis, also known as canine pinkeye, is a common uncomfortable eye condition that affects dogs. It is characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear tissue covering the eye’s white part and the eyelids’ inner surface. Pink eye in dogs can be caused by various factors, including allergies, infections (bacterial or viral), foreign objects in the eye, and irritants such as smoke or chemicals.

The severity of pink eye can range from mild to severe, with symptoms ranging from redness and swelling of the conjunctiva to discharge from both eyes to even one eye and squinting and rubbing at the affected eye, and an overall appearance of discomfort or pain. You may notice the start in one eye, then quickly spread to the other.

Causes of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Canine conjunctivitis will depend upon various factors. Here are some of the most common causes of dog pink eye:

  • Allergies: Conjunctivitis is most commonly associated with allergies like pollen, grass, and dust, which can cause conjunctiva inflammation.
  • Infections: Bacterial Conjunctivitis and Viral Conjunctivitis are usually transmitted from other dogs or contracted with contaminated surfaces or objects.
  • Foreign objects: If a foreign object, such as a piece of grass or a small particle, gets stuck in the eye, it can cause irritation and inflammation in your dog’s eye and eyelids.
  • Irritants: Smoke, chemicals, and other irritants can cause your dog’s conjunctivitis.

Other potential causes include physical trauma to the eye, underlying eye conditions such as glaucoma or uveitis, and immune system disorders. It is essential to seek veterinary care if you suspect your dog is showing signs of conjunctivitis, as untreated or improperly treated conjunctivitis can lead to permanent eye damage.

Breeds Predisposed to Conjunctivitis

Due to their unique physical characteristics, certain dog breeds are predisposed to certain types of conjunctivitis.

  • Brachycephalic breeds, such as Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers, are predisposed to chronic conjunctivitis due to their shortened muzzle and facial structure which can cause entropion (an inward rolling of the eyelid) and other eyelid problems.
  • Breeds like Cocker spaniels, Poodles, and Lhasa Apsos have a higher risk of developing allergic conjunctivitis due to their tendency to have environmental allergies.
  • Breeds like Shih Tzus, Shar Peis, St. Bernards, and bloodhounds have a genetically higher risk of developing dry eye leading to conjunctivitis
  • It’s important to note that any dog can develop conjunctivitis and it’s not limited to these breeds, and proper diagnosis and treatment is important for all dogs.

Symptoms of Canine Conjunctivitis

If you suspect your dog may have signs of conjunctivitis, it’s essential to be aware of the potential symptoms of dog conjunctivitis. Some common symptoms may include the following:

  • Redness and swelling of the conjunctiva
  • Discharge from the eye (which can be transparent or yellowish, to even having green discharge from the eye)
  • Squinting or rubbing at the affected eye
  • An overall appearance of discomfort or pain

In severe cases, the eye may become swollen shut, or there may be ulceration of the cornea. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s essential to seek veterinary care as soon as possible for treatment options. Left untreated, conjunctivitis or improperly treated can lead to more severe eye problems, such as vision loss or corneal ulceration.

Symptoms of Canine Conjunctivitis

How Do Vets Diagnose Conjunctivitis?

Veterinarians can diagnose conjunctivitis in dogs; however, it’s essential to go through a combination of physical examination and testing for the most effective treatment. During the physical examination, the veterinarian will look for signs of conjunctivitis, such as redness, swelling, and discharge from the eye. They may also use a light or a microscope to examine the eye more closely.

To confirm the diagnosis of conjunctivitis and determine the underlying cause, the veterinarian may also recommend one or more of the following tests:

  • Cytology: This involves collecting a sample of the eye Secretion and examining it under a microscope to look for signs of infection or inflammation.
  • Cultures: A sample of the eye Secretion may also be collected and sent to an outside laboratory to be cultured, which can help identify the specific type of bacteria or virus causing the infection.
  • Allergy testing: If the veterinarian suspects that allergies may be causing conjunctivitis, they may recommend allergy testing to identify the specific allergens causing the reaction.
  • Other tests: Depending on the specific symptoms and circumstances, the veterinarian may recommend tests such as blood work, x-rays, or ultrasound to rule out other potential causes of conjunctivitis or to assess the overall health of the dog.

Overall, diagnosing conjunctivitis aims to identify the condition’s underlying cause and determine the treatment for your dog’s conjunctivitis.

Treatment for Conjunctivitis in Dogs

The best treatment in dogs typically involves identifying and addressing the condition’s underlying cause and depending on the severity of symptoms and underlying cause. For example, topical medications are used to treat allergic conjunctivitis, and eye drops and Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial conjunctivitis. Dry eye treatment involves lubricating the ocular surface and treating the underlying problem.


Antibiotics often treat this condition when a bacterial infection has caused it. Depending on the severity of the disease, your veterinarian may choose to prescribe oral antibiotics or topical ointments placed directly into the affected eye(s). These medications work to reduce inflammation and kill off the bacterial organism that is causing symptoms.

Importantly, antibiotics alone will not cure Canine Conjunctivitis if a virus or fungus causes it. If these non-bacterial c, causes are suspected or confirmed by laboratory testing, your veterinarian may suggest other treatments, such as antiviral or antifungal medications; however, in some cases, supportive care (e.g., lubrication) may be sufficient treatment for solid symptoms to resolve on their own with no additional intervention.

Treatment for conjunctivitis in dogs


Canine conjunctivitis is a common eye disease caused by bacterial, viral or allergic reactions. Corticosteroids are commonly used as a treatment approach for canine conjunctivitis – especially for allergic conjunctivitis.

Corticosteroids decrease inflammation, relieving symptoms such as redness of the eye, swelling and discharge. They also reduce tissue damage associated with the condition and decrease the chances of further complications.

Corticosteroids come in topical drops, injectable forms and oral medications. Topical drops are applied to the eyes several times daily for up to two weeks, unless otherwise indicated by your veterinarian. Systemic corticosteroids can also be prescribed irritating is a need for strong relief from severe symptoms such as eye ulcers due to secondary infections or other underlying conditions.

Warm Compress

A warm compress is one of the most effective ways to soothe irritation and reduce redness due to canine conjunctivitis. To use a warm compress to treat canine conjunctivitis, soak a clean cloth in warm water and squeeze out any excess moisture before gently applying it to your dog’s irritated eye area. Allow the fabric to remain in place for 10-15 minutes before discarding it or washing it for later use. Repeating this process several times daily helps reduce symptoms and relieve pain associated with canine conjunctivitis.

What Benefits Does a Warm Compress Offer?

Applying a warm compress to your dog’s eyes offers several benefits: It helps remove a crusty discharge, which may be causing additional discomfort; it helps reduce swelling; it increases circulation, which may boost healing; and it also helps open up blocked tear ducts that are causing too much pressure in your dog’s eyes. The warmth relaxes and eases any pain due to irritation caused by inflamed membranes on your dog’s eyeballs or eyelids, allowing them to feel more comfortable immediately after applying the compress.

It is essential to follow the veterinarian’s recommendations and appropriate treatment to keep the eyes clean and free from anything that covers your dog’s eye. Doing so can make your dog more comfortable and prevent pink eye from returning.

Prevention and Management of Conjunctivitis Diseases

Here are some tips for preventing and managing conjunctivitis; however, it’s essential to understand how infectious it can be and note that early treatment will result in a faster recovery.

  1. Always keep your pet’s eyes clean and free of any debris or matter that may irritate them. Use a gentle saline solution regularly to remove debris around the regularly
  2. Invest in quality tear stain removers to help reduce redness, itching, and inflammation around your pet’s eyes. Teardrops, especially for dogs, typically tear away grime while providing vitamins and supplements to promote healthy eye tissue repair and healing.
  3. Palliative remedies such as warm compresses on closed eyelids can reduce swelling or discomfort accompanying canine conjunctivitis symptoms.
  4. Make regular visits to the vet for eye exams; this helps identify any signs of infection or illness before they worsen into more severe conditions like glaucoma or corneal ulcers requiring more aggressive treatment.
  5. Consider prescribing antibiotic drops if an infection is present – these should be administered twice daily until symptoms improve; do not stop giving antibiotics prematurely, as this could further aggravate the condition or lead to recurring episodes of pink eye in dogs.
  6. If allergies are suspected, ask your vet about options like topical anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, and oral allergy tablets designed specifically for dogs which help soothe irritated eyes without drowsiness or side effects commonly associated with human medications such as drowsiness or nausea.
  7. Avoid certain environmental irritants like smog, dust, mites, pollen etc that could trigger flare-ups in your pet’s eyes; use pet shampoo/conditioner fortified with natural components such as aloe vera extract that cleanse fur whilst reducing itchiness from eye crusts caused by allergic reactions – make sure not to get any product into their eyes!
  8. Provide plenty of fresh air circulation indoors during peak seasons where allergens are most prominent (especially springtime). Vacuum regularly throughout the house to reduce potential triggers lurking within soft furnishings/carpets etc., then wash bedding weekly at a high temperature which will kill off dust mites/bacteria -these act as familiar sources of irritation amongst pets susceptible to conjunctivitis episodes!

Frequently Asked Questions

The disease spreads through direct contact with infected animals or their secretions. Infected animals shed virus particles into the environment, infecting healthy animals via close physical or indirect contact (e.g., contaminated water). In addition, some viruses can remain infectious even after drying out, so they can survive long periods outside living organisms. This means that if you come into contact with an animal that has conjunctivitis, there is a chance that you could contract the disease yourself.

It’s very unlikely that the cause of infectious canine conjunctivitis will act as a zoonotic disease and pass from a dog to a human.

Canine conjunctivitis can often resolve independently without medical intervention over a few days to a week, depending on its cause. However, if symptoms worsen or persist for more than a week, it is essential to have your pet examined by a veterinarian; if left untreated, it could lead to serious health risks like corneal ulcers or vision loss.

Infectious forms of canine conjunctivitis are most often caused by bacteria or viruses in the environment and can spread between pets, so isolating affected animals from others may be necessary. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to help rid your pet of any bacterial infection present.

In some cases, reducing and modifying environmental conditions, such as reducing wind exposure when outside and avoiding contact with other animals until transparent, can help reduce irritation and accelerate recovery. If allergies are suspected as an underlying cause, additional treatments such as antihistamines may also be necessary.

It is important to remember that treating canine conjunctivitis at home should only be done in consultation with your veterinarian. All recommendations should be followed carefully to prevent further complications g due to incorrect treatment methods.

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common infection in dogs that affects the lining of the eyelid and causes redness, irritation, and discharge. Fortunately, some natural remedies can help treat the discomfort and distress associated with this condition.

The first thing to do is to keep the dog’s eyes clean and free from dirt or other contaminants. This can be done by gently washing away any crusty discharge around the eye area with a warm washcloth and plain water. Make sure you are careful not to get any soap in the eyes! Additionally, use a cotton pad soaked in chamomile tea – an excellent natural astringent – to soothe irritated eyes.

Another simple way of helping your pup’s conjunctivitis is to provide them with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil which helps promote healthy mucosal secretions. Additionally, try giving them Vitamin A or Beta-Carotene supplements, as these can help reduce inflammation associated with this condition. You might also want to add honey (raw preferred) directly onto their affected eye(s). Honey has an anti-microbial activity that kills many bacteria that cause this condition.

If you suspect your puppy has been exposed to viruses or bacteria contributing to their current conjunctivitis symptoms, then it would be best to contact your veterinarian for further advice on treatment plans and medications that may help alleviate symptoms more quickly. Also, consider making an appointment for a complete physical exam since some infections may have underlying causes that need medical attention and care.

Finally, remember preventive measures; good hygiene goes a long way in helping your pup stay healthy! Ensure you regularly bathe them and dry their face correctly after each bath so no leftover moisture is left behind, which could lead to further infection or irritation around their eyes!

It depends on the severity of conjunctivitis and whether or not the dog has any pain. Mild conjunctivitis may not cause much pain, while more severe cases can lead to noticeable discomfort. If your dog is experiencing mild discomfort, he may need a soothing eye wash or eyewash solution to help relieve it. If his condition worsens and he shows signs of pain, such as redness and swelling, you should consult a veterinarian.

It’s possible that dogs with conjunctivitis could be contagious to cats. To avoid the potential for cross-contamination, it’s essential to keep your pets separated when they are experiencing symptoms of this condition.

Most pink eye will clear up on its own within a few days, but some cases may take up to two weeks. If the infection does not clear after several days, or if there is any other concerning sign, such as increased discharge from the eyes, you should consult your veterinarian.

Conjunctivitis in Dogs can result in various symptoms that may signal a need for veterinary attention. The most common symptom is lethargy, which can be relatively mild initially but progress to complete fatigue and lack of appetite if left untreated. Other physical signs of conjunctivitis include eye redness, frequent squinting, pawing at the eyes, or excessive tearing from one or both eyes. In more severe cases, there might also be cloudiness in the cornea, swelling of the eyelids, and difficulty opening them due to inflammation.

There is no evidence to suggest that dogs with conjunctivitis can cause blindness. However, if the infection spreads from the eye to other parts of the body, it may cause serious complications such as corneal ulceration and even loss of vision.

Dogs can get conjunctivitis from various sources, including contact with other animals, water droplets, or airborne particles. However, the chances of your dog getting this condition are generally very low. If your dog does develop conjunctivitis, it is essential to take him to see his veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.

There is not a direct cause-and-effect relationship between dogs with conjunctivitis and diarrhea. However, bacteria in the eyes may trigger diarrheal episodes in some cases. Additionally, dogs with chronic eye infections may be more likely to develop inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis due to changes in their gut environment.

Some dogs may experience a decrease in appetite due to conjunctivitis, but the cause and extent of this change are difficult to determine with certainty. It is possible that some dogs feel unwell and don’t want to eat much, while others may lose weight due to the infection.

Most cases of dogs with conjunctivitis can be handled at home with a few days of treatment. If your dog displays signs of discomfort (crying, red eyes, discharge), it may be an emergency, and you should bring him to the veterinarian for evaluation.

A doctor can diagnose conjunctivitis with a simple exam. If your dog is experiencing severe eye irritation, it might be necessary to have them evaluated by a veterinarian for further diagnosis and treatment.

First, please make sure that the dog is well-hydrated by giving eye drops to a dog. Please give them a small amount of water and then ask the owner to hold their head still while you open their mouth and insert one end of a syringe into their cheek. Use your other hand to gently squeeze the eyes closed for two minutes, after which you should release pressure on the eyes and remove the needle. Gently place one drop of liquid into each eye thrice daily until symptoms clear up or treatment is discontinued.

If dogs with conjunctivitis are left untreated, they may develop redness, irritation, and discharge from their eyes. This can lead to vision problems if not treated promptly.

The cost of treating conjunctivitis in dogs depends on the severity of the condition, and it typically ranges from $50 to $125 per eye. Mild cases may only require a few drops of eye medication twice daily, while more severe cases may necessitate hospitalization and frequent antibiotic treatment.

Azithromycin is most commonly associated with drug reaction conjunctivitis in dogs and cats. Aphthous ulceration may also be a side effect of azithromycin use, as can cataracts. It may also be a side effect of azithromycin use, as can cataracts.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this veterinary website is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a licensed veterinarian for any concerns or questions regarding the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not claim to cover every possible situation or provide exhaustive knowledge on the subjects presented. The owners and contributors of this website are not responsible for any harm or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information provided herein.

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