Eye infections are quite common in dogs. It’s very important to recognize and cure such diseases in time so that they don’t lead to a drop in vision. Therefore, you should know what types of dog eye infections exist, how they manifest themselves, and what to do if you notice warning signs.
Types of Dog Eye Infection
The most common eye infections in dogs are:
What are they and how they differ?
This is an inflammation of the eyelids. There are three variations of this disease:
- Focal blepharitis: a local purulent inflammation of the sebaceous glands of the eyelids.
- Anterior: disease affects eyelashes and lashes follicles.
- Posterior: inflammation is localized mainly in the blepharo-conjunctival junction (the strip of mucus membrane between leashes and eyes).
This is an inflammation of the cornea (the most superficial, transparent membrane of the eye that contacts the external environment).
This is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the clear mucous membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball).
This is an inflammation of the choroid (eye vessels).
Reasons for Dog Eyes Getting Infected
Infectious eye diseases begin when favorable conditions for disturbing the microflora of the eyes and an increase in the number of harmful bacteria appear. Such conditions can be created by the following reasons:
- eye injuries;
- constant itching of the eyes because of allergy;
- ingress of impaled objects (most often it is sand, plant parts, etc);
- entropion or ectropion (deformities of the eyelids, because of which the eye constantly rubs against the fur);
- dry eye syndrome (decreased production of tears).
All this reduces local immunity in the eye and creates a favorable environment for the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria.
Breeds that are Most Prone to Dog Eye Infection
The anatomical features of the eyes of some breeds make them more prone to infectious diseases. Dogs that are most prone to eye diseases are:
- Shar Pei;
- Shih Tzu;
If your pet is of one of these breeds, visit a vet for eye examinations regularly.
Can Eye Infections be the Signs of Other Diseases?
Eye problems can go together with such illnesses:
- Allergy. Dogs that have got allergies often have watery and itchy eyes. And their constant scratching provokes microtrauma, into which pathogenic bacteria enter. Therefore, allergies and eye infections often go together.
- Canine distemper. This is a very dangerous disease that is often fatal. One of the signs of this illness is purulent conjunctivitis (redness, tearing, and purulent discharge). Other symptoms are refusal to eat, diarrhea, vomiting, cough, and nasal discharge.
Symptoms of Dog Eye Infection
To identify pathology, you need to examine the dog’s eyes regularly. And, if specific signs are found, immediately contact a veterinarian.
Healthy dog eyes are clean, without discharge and redness. Also, sometimes, after sleeping, the animal collects mucus in the corners of the eyes.
And here are the alarming symptoms that indicate that something is wrong:
- redness of the eyes;
- constant eye touching as they hurt and itch;
- discharge from the eyes, especially if it has a bad smell;
- change in eye color, the appearance of turbidity;
- redness of the eyelids and skin around the eyes;
- loss of eyelashes and fur around the eyes.
If you notice even only one symptom from the list, go to a vet immediately. Don’t resort to self-medication, as it can lead to complications, a drop in vision, and the transition of the disease into a chronic form.
Treatment for Dog Eye Infection
The specific treatment regimen will depend on what kind of disease a vet diagnoses. Some illnesses can be cured for a week (e. g. conjunctivitis). While others require permanent lifelong treatment (for example, keratitis).
Therapy may include the following solutions:
- rinsing eyes with medications;
- antibacterial pills.
Advanced forms of keratitis may require surgery to return lost vision.
How to Avoid Dog Eye Infection
Everyone knows that any disease is easier to prevent than to cure. And eye pathologies don’t make an exception.
So, observe the following preventive measures, especially if your dog is of a breed prone to eye diseases:
- Remove the excess mucus that collects in the eyes during sleep with a clean, damp, warm cloth. Mucus may create a favorable environment for the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria. So, by carrying out this simple and quick procedure in the morning, you will prevent disease-causing bacteria from living and reproducing in your pet’s eyes. Wipe eyes from the outer corner to the inner one.
- Rinse the dog eyes with chamomile tea. This measure is especially relevant for breeds that are prone to eye infections and for dogs that have already had eye diseases. Fix the head of your pet and hold his body firmly. Representatives of small breeds may be wrapped in a blanket or towel. Soak a cotton pad in a chamomile tea. Wipe the eyes with it, moving from the outer corner to the inner part. In no case put pressure on the eyeball. Replace the disc when it becomes dry.
- Cure allergies in time. Also, make sure that the dog doesn’t scratch his eyes during treatment. The best way to prevent scratching is to put a specialized recovery cone collar on your dog.
- Rinse pet’s eyes in case of their contamination. Make sure that the dog first aid kit includes the remedies for eye rinsing. And carry it with you on walks and especially when you are going out of town.
- Avoid subcooling. It lowers immunity and makes the dog more prone to infections. Therefore, in cold weather, stop walking a pet if you see that he is cold. Also, make sure that his sleeping place is reliably protected from drafts.
- Give dog vitamins to your pet. They will help to improve immunity and avoid many diseases, including eye infections.
Follow all these rules, and also regularly undergo a preventive examination by a vet. May your pet be healthy and happy!