Applying Eye Ointment for Dogs

Eye discharge, dry eyes or eye swelling may be caused by a number of eye conditions ranging from cherry eye to conjunctivitis. There are a number of eye medications, such as eye ointment, that will help relieve the symptoms or clear the condition completely. In order to help the healing process along, it is important to understand how to properly administer eye ointment.

Administering Eye Ointment

When your veterinarian prescribes an ophthalmic eye ointment, he will provide precise instructions on how to administer it. He will likely tell you to begin the process by making sure you are in a closed, small space so your pet will not be tempted run. Next:

  1. Steady your dogs head with one hand.
  2. Draw down on the lower eyelid with your thumb to expose the conjunctival sac (space behind the lower eyelid).
  3. Rest the hand containing the applicator against the dog’s forehead, this way if the dog jerks his head your hand will move with it, preventing the applicator from poking him in the eye.
  4. Squeeze out a ribbon of ointment, slowly.
  5. Once the ointment has landed in the eye, gently close the eyelids
  6. Massage the eyelid a bit to spread the ointment over the entire eyeball

Eye ointment should never be used without a veterinarian’s recommendation or prescription. If you use over-the-counter ointments, please make sure it is specifically labeled for ophthalmic use. Check the expiration date on the label and understand that extended use of antibiotics on the eye may lead to resistant infections.

Before putting in a new dose of eye ointment, your veterinarian may recommend cleaning or flushing the eye with artificial tears.

Signs of Eye Ailments in Dogs

If you suspect that your dog has an eye condition, please see your vet immediately. Eye problems can advance from minor to serious in a very short time. Common symptoms to look for when diagnosing eye pain include:

  • tearing
  • squinting
  • sensitivity to light
  • tenderness to the touch
  • cying
  • whining
  • lethargy

Conjunctivitis can cause redness and eye discharge, and a membrane condition may show a film over the eye.

If your dog’s eyes are cloudy, accompanied by signs of pain, this may be a sign of glaucoma, keratitis or uveitis. A hard eye with a dilated pupil indicates glaucoma and a soft eye with a small pupil indicates uveitis. To do quick check of your dog’s eye condition, use a dark room, a flash light and a magnifying glass for best results. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, contact your vet immediately. If there is some reason you prefer to wait, a condition that persists for more than 24 hours is considered serious, so do your best to take your pet to see a vet.