Conjunctivitis in Dogs
Did you know that your dog can get Pink Eye? If your answer is ‘no,’ you’re not alone! Most of us associate Pink Eye with back-to-school, playdate and playground time for kids. We know it’s highly contagious, itchy and uncomfortable for humans. Turns out, it’s just as uncomfortable and potentially contagious for our dogs. While it may be hard to avoid catching (in both kids and dogs), it’s easy to treat and clears up quickly. Read on to learn more about pink eye and how to treat it in pets.
Does my dog have pink eye?
Signs and symptoms of Pink Eye in dogs include:
· Clear or green eye discharge
· Whites of the eyes turning red
· Swollen eyes
· Pawing at and itching eyes
· Excess blinking
· Excess sneezing
· Sticky eyelids
· General discomfort linked with any of the symptoms above
If left untreated, eye issues can lead to severe and serious issues with your pet’s health. It’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian immediately after noticing any symptoms of conjunctivitis in your dog. Your veterinarian will be able to give you a clear diagnosis whether your pet has pink eye or not.
How did my dog get Pink Eye?
The most common cause of pink eye in dogs is irritation from a foreign body or allergen. Pink eye turns up a lot during season change with any uptick in pollen or other allergens that may affect your dog. Other causes of pink eye include:
· Allergens like pollen, mold, dander and dust mites
· Bug bites in the eye area
· Blocked tear ducts
· Bacterial Infection
· Viral infection
· Eye disease
Thankfully, for most causes of pink eye, a simple steroidal eye drop or ointment will clear the conjunctivitis up within a few days. Treatment typically includes application of eye drops/ointment 3x a day for 7 days.
Will I Catch it From my Dog?
Luckily, it is extremely unlikely for humans to catch conjunctivitis from their dogs. Conjunctivitis caused by allergens and irritants is often non-contagious and your dog will not pass it to you or other dogs/pets they come in contact with. If your dog’s pink eye is viral or bacterial, it can be contagious for other dogs/pets they interact with and all dog walkers, kennels, groomers and day care centers that your dog has been to should be notified that your dog may have contagious pink eye.
Whether your dog’s pink eye is contagious or not, it’s a good idea to wash your hands regularly after petting your dog and after applying treatment or cleaning their eyes.
Paying attention to your dog’s health is a big part of being a good P.E.T. Parent. Consulting your veterinarian when you notice something unusual with your pet’s health or behavior is always the best route to take.
Administering eye drops or ointment to your dog may seem like a daunting task. If you make it a positive experience for your dog by rewarding them with treats every time you apply, they will quickly become more accepting and tolerant of the task.