Dog Eye Irritation Symptoms

Dog eye irritation can be caused by a wide range of factors including allergic reactions, eye infections, injuries or foreign objects that get trapped in the eye. Recognizing the symptoms of eye irritation in your pet and getting treatment can put an end to his pain and discomfort.

Symptoms of Dog Eye Irritation

The symptoms of eye irritation may vary according to the underlying cause, but there are a few common signs that will indicate the dog has irritated eyes:

  • Frequent pawing and rubbing of the eyes or the face
  • Red eye whites
  • Swelling of the eyelids and the eye area (especially if the dog has an allergic reaction)
  • Ocular discharges, which can be transparent or more consistent and yellow, pink or gray in color
  • Partially or completely closed eye
  • Broken blood vessels visible in the eye whites
  • Irregularly dilated pupils, which may indicate an internal problem
  • Frequent tearing
  • A visible object in the eye
  • Agitation
  • Unusual meowing during the day or night, which may be due to pain

These symptoms can be observed and will be present starting from the time the dog's eyes are injured or infected.

Diagnosing Eye Irritation

Eye irritation can be diagnosed by performing a number of tests including:

  • Testing the ocular discharge, which will let the vet know if the eye is irritated due to an infection
  • Allergy testing (may be a blood test or intradermal testing)
  • An ophthalmologic examination, to detect if the deeper layers of the eye are affected

The vet will also ask you about the dog's symptoms and any unusual behavior you may have noticed.

Canine Eye Irritation Treatment

Eye irritation treatment will involve a number of steps. First, it is important to clean the dog's eyes, so that the solutions you apply will be absorbed by the eye tissues and no other debris or bacteria will get in the pet's eyes.

The cleaning of the eyes should be performed using a saline solution that can be prepared at home with half a tablespoon of sea salt and 200 ml of water. The saline solution should be applied with an eye dropper and should be left for 5 minutes, after which you can wipe off the remaining liquid.

The vet may prescribe solutions to apply after the eyes are cleaned:

  • Antibiotic ointments or drops for viral and bacterial infections
  • Oral antibiotics for severe infections, especially if the dog's eyes are closed or partially closed
  • Fungicide ointments or drops for fungal infections
  • Antihistamines or steroids for allergic reactions

If the dog has suffered an injury, the vet will establish if treatment is needed and may recommend bandaging the injured eye or placing a lampshade collar around the dog's neck, so that he won't rub his eyes.