Treating Dog Eye Injuries

Dog eye injuries are common, and most of the time the injuries can be treated at home. Most commonly, dogs get eye injuries from things such as splinters or a dust speck in the eye, allergic reactions and rubbing the area excessively, or chemical burns due to contact with different materials in the environment (such as household cleaners). Even if the dog cannot be treated at home, there are some emergency procedures that can be applied before you get to a vet.

Eye Injuries in Dogs

Eye injuries may be severe or negligible. It is important to distinguish between a minor eye injury that can be safely treated at home and more serious injuries such as splinters or other materials in the eye, chemical burns or accidental cuts which need to be treated at a veterinary clinic. 

Treating Dog Eye Injuries at Home

If you determine the dog's injury is minor, such as dust in the eye or the irritation of eyes due to excessive rubbing, you can apply at home treatment.

You will have to clean the eyes, using sterile, lukewarm water. Calm the dog down and wrap him in a towel, so that he is comfortable and more cooperative. Dogs can get agitated, especially when they have an eye injury and you want to handle the eyes. Use a syringe without a needle and try getting some of the water in the dog's eyes. Repeat the washing two or three times, until you are sure the dog's eyes are free from any debris. Once the eyes are clean, you can apply a saline solution. If the dog has allergies, you can opt for a solution that contains corticosteroids or anti-inflammatories. Alternatively, you can use tea bags (i.e., chamomile), which can also soothe the irritation.

Treating Severe Eye Injuries

A more serious eye injury cannot be treated at home. However, there are a few things you can do prior to going to a vet or an ophthalmologist.

If the dog has an eye hemorrhage, you will have to get a sterile cloth or compress and apply it on the eye that is affected. If the dog has a different eye injury, you should apply a protective patch until getting to the vet. If you suspect the eyes may be affected by chemicals, you need to flush these using lukewarm water or chamomile tea prior to going to a vet.

The vet will treat an eye injury in different ways:

  • Remove foreign objects and give antibiotic eye drops to prevent infections
  • Cold compresses for a black eye
  • Painkillers and antibiotics for cuts and other eye injuries
  • Surgery for more complicated eye injuries

The dog should be assisted for a few days and the progress of the eyes should be monitored. The ophthalmologist may schedule followup meetings. Meanwhile, you will need to apply the eye drops and other medications prescribed.