Vet Blog

Eye Infections in Dogs: Causes and Treatment

September 13, 2021

Eye infections in dogs are more common than you might think.

If your dog shows signs of discomfort around the eyes, has discharge or swelling, or seems to be sensitive to light, they might have an eye infection. The caring team of veterinary professionals at Animal Care Center excels in treating eye infections in dogs. If you notice any signs of eye infections, we can help!

Basic Types of Dog Eye Infections

There are a few different types of eye infections in dogs, all of which are caused by different types of inflammation. Conjunctivitis, or "pink eye," is a type of inflammation that affects the conjunctiva. This thin membrane covers the front of a dog's eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelid.

A uveitis infection consists of inflammation in the interior section of the eye. Areas affected include the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid. The ciliary body is a circular structure behind the iris, and the choroid consists of tissues behind the iris. Inflammation of the cornea can also cause dog eye infections.

Causes of Eye Infections in Dogs

  • Viruses such as distemper, canine influenza, hepatitis, and herpes
  • Tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease
  • Fungus
  • Irritants including smoke and shampoo
  • Foreign matter (hair, dirt, dust, grass)
  • Parasites
  • Trauma
  • Scratched cornea
  • Glaucoma
  • Dry eyes
  • Poisoning
  • Tumors
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Tear duct problems, more common in certain breeds

Symptoms of Eye Infections in Dogs

  • Redness
  • Discharge or increased "eye boogers" that may be thicker than normal or a different color than usual
  • Pawing at the eyes from pain or itching (scratching can cause permanent damage, so we recommend using a cone collar until the infection is cured)
  • Swelling of the eye or eyelid
  • Squinting

Treating Eye Infections in Dogs

If your dog is exhibiting any symptoms of an eye infection, bring them into Animal Care Center for diagnosis right away. We will determine the correct course of treatment by identifying the cause of the infection. Depending on the cause, we may prescribe antibiotics, eye drops, ointment, or other medications to help ease the symptoms and treat the infection.

There are also a few things you can do at home to improve your dog's comfort level if they have an infection. Keep the eye area clean to promote healing. Use a warm (not hot) moistened washcloth and wipe gently around the eyes. Do not touch the eyeball with the washcloth. Use a cone collar so your dog won't be tempted to scratch at the affected area and make things worse.

Seek Treatment Today

Dogs with eye infections do not need to suffer! With prompt diagnosis and dedicated care, your dog's eye infection and discomfort can be treated quickly and easily. If your dog exhibits any of the symptoms of an eye infection, contact Animal Care Center of Castle Pines to schedule an examination.