Treating an Eye Infection in Your Dog

Dog eye infection is not uncommon. Even in the healthiest of dogs, it's possible for foreign debris or abrasion to occur, causing redness, swelling and discharge. Treating eye infections quickly can prevent your animal from unnecessary pain and eye damage.

Symptoms of Eye Infection in Your Dog

Symptoms of eye infection vary on the type of infection; however, some signs are sure bets. If your dog's eyes are suddenly red, watery, swollen or full of discharge, or your pet spends a lot of time pawing at his or face, you probably have an infection on your hands.

Cherry eye is a common eye infection in dogs. Cherry eye occurs when the tear gland behind the nictitating membrane, also known as the third eyelid, swells or moves out of position. The disease is most frequently seen in young purebreds, particularly those with congenitally large eyes.

You are also likely to see conjunctivitis, or pink eye. Your dog will present with itching of the face, reddening and swelling, similar to the infection in humans. Pink eye can be very irritating, as it causes ocular mucous membranes to swell.

Clean Your Dog's Eye

The first step to treatment is diagnosis. Using a saline solution or dog eyewash, clean the area several times a day. For minor irritations, this can clear up symptoms. For infections, the eye flush will remove discharge, making diagnosis easier for your vet. Trim the hair around the dog's eyes in order to prevent further irritation.

Pay attention to the color of the discharge from your dog's eyes. Infectious discharge is usually thick and can vary in color from yellow to green to gray. If your dog's eyes continue producing this discharge for more than two days, call your vet.

Comfort Your Dog through the Eye Pain

Your dog's eye infection is probably painful, so do your best to make your animal comfortable during treatments. Using a warm compress on your dog's eyes can reduce inflammation and soothe your pet. Show your pet lots of love, and always use reassuring tones.

Visit Your Vet

If your dog's symptoms don't clear up within two days of the eye flushing, make an appointment to see your vet. He or she can prescribe medicated eye drops treating common infections like pink eye, or antibiotics, or diagnosis a more serious infection.

If you think that your dog could have a serious infection, do not hesitate to discuss the symptoms with your vet. By prolonging more serious action, like surgery, you could be causing irreparable damage to your dog's vision.

Monitor Changes

If you notice any changes for the worse in the condition of your pet, let your vet know. Changes in vision in particular can be a sign of cataracts, which can lead to partial or complete blindness if steps to prevent escalation are not taken immediately.