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What is Pink Eye?

Conjunctivitis, also called Pink Eye, is an inflammation of the tissue lining the eyelids and eye socket. If your pet has redness, swelling, and watery or mucous discharge of the eyes, conjunctivitis may be the culprit. This is an itchy and mildly painful condition, which can occur on its own either as a result of infection or irritant, but may also be a symptom of systemic illness or congenital defect.Conjunctivitis is an inflammatory disorder of the conjunctival tissue, brought on either by foreign material or infection, and can be exacerbated by physical defects or breed-specific problems of the eyes. If untreated, conjunctivitis can cause severe pain, blindness, and systemic infection.

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Pink Eye Average Cost

From 24 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Pink Eye in Dogs

  • Redness and swelling of the eyes
  • Watery or mucous discharge from the eyes
  • Abnormal squinting
  • Frequent blinking
  • Pawing or rubbing of eyes
  • Excessive discharge from nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
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Causes of Pink Eye in Dogs

  • Environmental irritation such as mites, dust, pollen, and smoke
  • Obstructed tear ducts
  • Bacterial infection such as streptococcus and staphylococcus
  • Viral infection such as Canine Distemper Virus
  • Congenital or breed-specific ailments and abnormalities
Types
  • Irritation
  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral illness
  • Congenital defect
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Diagnosis of Pink Eye in Dogs

Owners should monitor their dog’s eyes for redness and swelling. Sometimes, blowing dust or a swim in murky water can cause temporary irritation, but if these symptoms do not go away after a couple of hours, or there is mucous discharge present, see a veterinarian right away.

The veterinarian’s aim will be to determine whether conjunctivitis is the only problem, or if it is indicative of an underlying condition. This will involve an eye exam to check whether there is any damage to the eye itself or associated structures like tear ducts, eyelashes and eyelids. The veterinarian may take a swab of any discharge to determine the type of infection. This sample will be cultured to identify the infection and prescribe a suitable medication.

If an underlying condition beyond infection is suspected, tear production tests, corneal stain tests, or measurement of intra-ocular pressure may be taken to make sure any of the eye’s functions are not impaired. Any physical abnormalities will also be assessed for surgical correction, possibly including a biopsy, where a sample of tissue will be taken for laboratory testing to rule out malignancy. However, tumors of the eyelids and conjunctiva are uncommon.

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Treatment of Pink Eye in Dogs

Irritation

If your dog is prone to allergic or environmental irritation of the eyes, your veterinarian may prescribe eyedrops to lubricate the eye and flush out any irritants. Additionally, antihistamines may be prescribed in eyedrop, pill or syrup form to ease discomfort from allergies as needed. These are low-risk treatments easily administered at home. Allergies or irritation may be acute (temporary) or chronic conditions, but pose little threat to health if properly managed.

Infection

If the cultures come back as positive for a bacterial infection, an appropriate antibiotic will be prescribed, such as oxytetracycline, tobramycin, or ciprofloxacin. These may come in eyedrop, ointment or pill form, and are usually administered over a period of 1-3 weeks. For treatment to be effective, the entire course of antibiotics should be taken, even if symptoms improve before the last dose is reached. Antibiotics do carry some risk of side effects such as vomiting and gastrointestinal distress, but these are usually mild, especially if taken as directed. In the rare case of antibiotic-resistant infection, a multi-drug approach may be taken. Usually infections are rare and unlikely to re-occur, but frequent interaction with contaminated material (e.g. toilet water getting in eyes from drinking) may cause relapse. A clean and well-ventilated living space greatly reduces risk.

Underlying Condition

Conjunctivitis is sometimes a symptom of an underlying condition, such as Canine Distemper Virus or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, also called Dry Eye. Congenital defects of the eye, such as those common among collies, may also increase susceptibility to conjunctivitis. In this case, the veterinarian will treat your dog according to the underlying condition or defect, which may include treating for infection as described above. This treatment approach will vary based on the specific condition.

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Recovery of Pink Eye in Dogs

Follow-up appointments may be needed if you are unsure whether the infection has cleared, or if any problem with the medication has emerged. Your veterinarian will have helpful tips on managing symptoms and successfully administering medication. Follow the directions for the medication, which may involve administering before or between meals. Keep your dog away from dusty, dry or especially dirty areas while recovering from conjunctivitis, and monitor their symptoms for changes. Recovery time for irritant-based conjunctivitis is often a few hours to a few days. Infectious conjunctivitis usually clears in 1-2 weeks. Other types will depend on the root cause and the management of the underlying condition.

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Pink Eye Average Cost

From 24 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$500

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Pink Eye Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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panda

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Papillon

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3 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

i don't know if my dog has a pink eye or not but she keeps squinting her eye and it looks very puffy and swollen she can barely open her eye. she keeps pawing at it so i put a cone on her just to be safe i also rinsed her eye in some water.how much would it cost for treatment treatment and if it is too expensive is there any home remedies I can try to help my dog heal ?

July 22, 2018

panda's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

There aren't any home remedies for eye injuries, as there are many causes for irritations and I don't know what is causing Panda's problem without seeing her. The initial cost of a veterinary visit would likely be the majority of the cost to see what is going on with her eye, and they may want to put a stain on her cornea to see if there is an ulcer. It should not be prohibitive to get treatment for her, and eye problems can worsen quickly. It would be best to have her seen today to see what is going on with her eye.

July 22, 2018

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Gizmo

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Chihuahua

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9 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Scratching Eyes

I have pink eye i been using dr prescribed eye drops for2 days i tried to be careful washing hands but my 4 lb chihuahua like to be up close to my face today i notice him rubbing his eyes more there is no swelling, discharge or cant see any rednss. Should wait n see or have him checked? Pink eye or not

April 15, 2018

Gizmo's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Whilst dogs can get ‘pink eye’ it is unlikely to be transmitted from humans to dogs. If Gizmo is rubbing his eyes, keep an eye on him for the time being and see if any symptoms develop; if they do you can just an ophthalmic antibiotic ointment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://wagwalking.com/wellness/can-dogs-get-pink-eye

April 15, 2018

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Pink Eye Average Cost

From 24 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$500

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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