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What are Conjunctivitis?

Your dog’s eyesight is valuable and nature protects the eye from dust and bacteria by a membrane called the conjunctiva which protects the sensitive eye. Conjunctivitis can affect one eye or both. Usually if it affects both it is caused by an infection from a virus or bacteria, but environmental irritants such as dust, or allergens can be other causes. If there is a discharge present, for example mucous or a pus-filled fluid, your veterinarian may need to prescribe topical antibiotics to help clear the condition.

Conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye) is very common in dogs and is caused from external irritants or infections to the eye.

Conjunctivitis Average Cost

From 428 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

  • Red, swollen and moist-looking eyes
  • Your dog may blink a lot or squint his eyes
  • You may notice accompanying symptoms such as sneezing, and nasal discharge
  • Redness to the delicate eye membrane caused by the reaction of the eye to the irritant 
  • Your dog may paw a lot at his eyes or around the area
  • Behavioural changes may be noticeable – he may become quiet, withdrawn, and sad looking 
  • You may notice a discharge from the eyes such as mucus or pus 

Types

 

Allergic Conjunctivitis

  • Often seasonal, it is not contagious 
  • Causes include dust, pollen or cosmetics 

Viral Conjunctivitis 

  • Caused by a virus infection and may take up to three weeks to cure
  • Very contagious 

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

 

  • Caused by a bacterial infection - Streptococcus (strep) or Staphylococcus (staph infection)

  • Very contagious

Other Cause 

  • Dry eyes ( keratoconjunctivitis) which is characterised by inadequate tear production
  • Entropion – a malformation of the eyelid that causes the edges to roll inward, and the hairs on the eyelid to cause irritation on the eye
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Causes of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

  • Bacterial infections are one of the most common causes of conjunctivitis in your dog; these infections can affect one eye or both if the dog is pawing his face and transferring the infection from one eye to the other
  • Fungal infections can cause irritation to the eye membrane
  • Viral infections often are the cause, and need treatment by your veterinarian to prescribe the correct treatment to clear the infection up
  • Trauma to the eyes such as a blow can often cause a reaction that turns into conjunctivitis
  • Abnormalities to the eye structure where the result is the fine hairs for lashes irritating and damaging the eye membrane
  • Foreign objects in the eyes 
  • Shampoos and chemicals that may irritate the eye
  • Smoke can cause the eye to become irritated 
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Diagnosis of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

If your dog has that noticeable ‘pink eye’ look to his eyes, meaning it looks inflamed or has a moist discharge, then the best thing you can do to help is to take your dog to the veterinarian clinic. Your caregiver can diagnose the type of condition your dog may have and can prescribe the correct treatment. As there are many causes that can affect your pet’s eyes, your observations regarding how long your dog has had the condition or how it is affecting the animal will be helpful to pass onto the veterinarian. Diagnosis is usually based on physical findings. The veterinary specialist will often put a drop of liquid anesthetic into the eye which is not painful for your pet. It numbs the surface of the eye allowing the veterinarian to examine the eye without causing discomfort to your dog. She will be looking for foreign material, a wound or scratch to the surface or for any tell-tale signs of conjunctivitis.

Any deformity around the eye can also be seen during this examination. Using a fluorescein stain which is a green tinted dye that glows under a blue light, the veterinarian  can detect injury to the cornea as the dye adheres to the defect making it visible. This is not harmful to your dog at all and allows your veterinarian to judge the condition of the eye. If a systemic illness is suspected, blood tests may be recommended.

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Treatment of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Treatment for this condition is straight forward, and usually involves antibiotic eye creams and drops, or antihistamine medications. Your dog will be able to come home with you and you can continue the treatment at home. 

Allergies 

Your dog may need some anti-inflammatory or antihistamine medications to calm and treat the eye allergy. 

Bacterial or Viral Infections

Your dog may need a combination of both oral antibiotics (through the mouth as in tablets or liquids) and antibiotic eye drops to combat the bacterial or viral infections.

Fungal Infection

If the conjunctivitis is caused through fungal infections, an anti-fungal ointment will be provided. 

Abnormality

If an abnormality is causing the irritation, you may need to consider corrective surgery to solve the problem. In this case your veterinarian will be able to advise you of the best course of action best suited to your dog’s needs.  

Finally, you may need to use an eyewash solution to treat a case of serious conjunctivitis. Results from the above treatments are excellent and once implemented the condition clears within days or sometimes weeks. Your dog will soon return to his happy boisterous self.

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Recovery of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

The recovery time is usually only days before some improvement is seen in the case of allergen or fungal infections, although some viral or bacterial infections do take up to three weeks to clear. Your dog will find immediate relief through the eyedrops or antibiotics subscribed, although it may take a few tries to master the procedure of getting the drops into the eye. Remaining calm and getting your dog to relax as you do it will help. If you are in doubt, get your veterinarian to demonstrate the best way to do it before you leave the clinic. Management includes keeping your dog’s eyes clean by wiping away any discharge with a sterile sponge or cloth and change bedding often to avoid reinfection. If you have more than one pet, keep your dog isolated from them for a few days to allow the contagion to be eliminated.

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Conjunctivitis Average Cost

From 428 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$500

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Conjunctivitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Chihuahua mix

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22 months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Yellow Eye Goop

my dog has started to have some yellowish goop in the corner of both eyes. He is not acting any different than he always is, he isnt pawing at his eyes, its just the goop. We are so broke due to the pandemic & we just spent 100's on taking our cat to the vet so I would love to know if this is something we can try to treat before going to the vet & having to try to come up with the $ for that

Aug. 15, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello- Thank you for your question. Mild discharge like what you are describing and what the picture shows could be due to a mild allergy or possibly a mild infection. If the sclera (white of the eyes) are not red, he is not pawing at the eyes, squinting, and the discharge is not worsening it is okay to flush the eyes with some artificial tears such as Optixcare or Remend. If it continues longer term I would recommend having him examined by your veterinarian so they can get a more thorough exam of the eyes. Take care!

Aug. 15, 2020

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Mutt

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Ten Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Right Eye And Lips

if i left my dog with a swollen eye overnight, nothing horrible could have happened to the eye correct? like blindness if something bad like that?

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without knowing why the eye is swollen, I can't say for sure that it will be okay, but your dog seems to be sleeping comfortably in that picture, so it doesn't seem to be bothering them very much, which is good. If they start pawing at it or rubbing it on the carpet, and it is squinting or swollen, then it would be best to see a veterinarian right away. As it is, you can likely have your dog seen when your veterinarian opens in the morning. I hope that all goes well for your dog!

Aug. 3, 2020

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Toy Poodle

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Fourteen Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Conjunctivitis

10 days and dog continues to have worn like yellow slime coming from eyes. Today is day 10 crust this morning used eye wash as vet said to stop treatment but this slime and then later crust after cleaning 3 hours later slime again. Is this normal.

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello I'm sorry to see that your pet is not feeling well. If he has had eye discharge for several days, he may need some eye medications, specifically antibiotics if he has an infection. I recommend that you take him to a veterinarian for an exam. Good luck.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Goldendoodle

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Tearing Left Eye

3 weeks later and 3 vet visits later. Goldendoodle diagnosed with conjunctivitis then following week with tear in cornea; then tear is gone but still inflamed and tearing clear water from only left eye

July 19, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Your dog may have a problem with the tear duct or an aberrant lash that is causing this problem, among other possibilities. If the problem is persisting, it may be a good idea to have a referral to an ophthalmologist, as they have specialized equipment and will be able to use that and the current response to therapy to help figure out what the problem is. If that is something that you would like to pursue, your veterinarian can get that referral for you. I hope that all goes well for your dog.

July 19, 2020

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Bobby

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Border Terrier

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9 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Redness
Mucus
Sore
Sticky Eye

I’ve noticed my dog has a sore red left eye, both eyes are gooey and sticking together and obviously very itching as he is scratching them a lot. I keep bathing his eyes with warm water and a clean cloth but he seems very tired

Aug. 22, 2018

Bobby's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Bobby may have a bacterial infection, a foreign body in his eyes, allergies, or corneal ulcers. If he is pawing at them, they are probably painful, and he should be seen as soon as possible by a veterinarian so that he can get the right treatment to help him.

Aug. 22, 2018

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Zeus

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Pug

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7 Months

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Moderate severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Hi I took my dog to the vet an she did a Fluorescein Stain test. It has been 5 hours since I have been to the vet and his eye is still green. How do I get rid of the green stain?

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Cuddles

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Shiz tzu

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3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Mucus In Eyes, Squinting

I think my dog has conjunctivitis, mucus in eyes and can't keep his eyes open. Laying around. Do I need to rush him to vet? It's Sunday only emergency vets open. What should I do? He is eating and sleeping and doing his outside buisness just laying around.

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Shardow

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Labrador Retriever

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24 Months

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lathargic

I have noticed is not as active, we go to the dog park occasionally, a dog nipped her, Shadow has diarria and her eyes are pinkish and red. She is not as active, what to do?please advise, lopezegl@gmail.com

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Gizmo

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Papillon

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15 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Pain
Red Eye
Cloudy Eyes
Pain When Lifted
Mucus Like Discharge

So I took my dog to the vet today because I thought he had conjunctivitis, or KCS. She only looked in his eye with a light and with dye. She wants me to go to another clinic and have him tested for glaucoma but that’s really pricey. The antibiotic drops she gave him seem to help, if it is an infection, how long would it take for me to notice a visible difference? Could an eye infection make his eye cloudy looking? At first the discharge was a white but then the crust forming was a yellow color. I was given very vague answers and reasoning today.

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Sky

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Australian Shepherd

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5 Months

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

My Aussie puppy is 5 months old, her eyes were red and she had tear discharge. Was diagnostic with Pink Eye, I used Ofloxacin for 7 days as prescribed but her eyes does not seem to be 100% white. I have stopped the meds and am not sure if I should resume until it looks bright white? How white does it need to look? There are no excessive discharge nor signs of discomfort. Trying to avoid another $150 eye check by my vet :(

Conjunctivitis Average Cost

From 428 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$500

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