Pink Eye in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Pink eye in dogs is also known as conjunctivitis or “red-eye.” It is an itchy inflammation of the dog’s inner eyelids tissue and the whites of the eyes. Treating “pink eye” or conjunctivitis is essential because the condition can lead to blindness, pain, and further infection in dogs if left untreated.

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Conjunctivitis in canines may look the exact same way as the pink eye in humans. However, it is usually caused by an allergen or irritation from a foreign substance, rather than a contagious infection. However, in some cases, it can be due to an infection, or it could come with other conditions.

It is imperative that you consult your veterinarian to find out the cause of the pink eye in your dog and also treat it accordingly. In this article, we will be discussing the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options for pink eye in dogs.

Causes Of Pink Eye In Dogs

Pink eye in dogs can be caused by anything that leads to inflammation to the conjunctiva or the white parts of the eyeballs or tissue of the eyelids. There are many infections, irritants, and conditions that can trigger inflammation.

Below are a few common causes of conjunctivitis or pink eye in dogs:

  • A foreign object stuck in the eye or under the dog’s eyelid
  • Irritants in the air such as perfume, smoke, or dust
  • Immune disease
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Canine distemper
  • Infections from bacteria such as streptococcus and staphylococcus
  • Glaucoma
  • Viral infections
  • Obstructed tear ducts
  • Dry eye or an inability to produce enough tears
  • Eye injury
  • Malformed eyelids
  • Allergies

Rarely, conjunctivitis can be caused by the existence of cancerous tumors. Sometimes, pink eye in dogs can also happen as a result of lesions that appear as bold pink masses, which are not carcinogenic but show up most commonly in Collies.

German Shepherd Dogs are one of the most predisposed specie of dogs to a particular type of pink eye known as plasma-cell conjunctivitis.

Symptoms Of Pink Eye In Dogs

The most noticeable symptom of pink eye in a dog is the apparent pink or red hue that is found in the whites of a dog’s eyes. However, there are many other signs of pink eye that you should be on the lookout for.

Other symptoms of pink eye may include the following:

  • Watery, pus discharge, mucus
  • Squinting
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Swelling of the eyes
  • Frequent spasms of blinking
  • Pawing at the eyes repeatedly or rubbing against the furniture or ground
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Eyelids stuck shut

Treatment Of Pink Eye In Dogs

Pink Eye in Dogs


Because Pink Eye in dogs is usually due to the presence of an irritant and not a contagious disease or infection that can spread from one dog to another.

Most of the time, the treatment of Pink Eye will involve flushing the dog’s eyes and lessening inflammation with ointment and eye drops. If the irritant to your dog’s eye is an allergen, there may be need to follow this up with antihistamines.

In a case where the cause of pink eye in dogs is a bacterial infection, your vet may prescribe some antibiotics such as tobramycin, oxytetracycline, or ciprofloxacin. The antibiotics can come in ointments, pill, or eye drops, and at the same time, your dog may be prescribed various drugs to help cover multiple bacteria.

Usually, once you can treat the infection and it goes, it will not return resurface unless your dog keeps interacting with contaminants.

If your dog’s conjunctivitis is as a result of an underlying condition, then that condition must first be treated separately. Distemper, immune disease, and upper respiratory tract infection can all be treated with their own prescribed treatments. Specific types of deformities or tumors of the eyelids or eyes may need surgery.

It is possible to prevent pink eye by reducing your dog’s interactions with contaminated water or other contaminated materials. Getting rid of exposure to known irritants or allergens, such as cigarette smoke, can also help.

Also, staying up-to-date on all vaccinations for possible conditions like distemper will go a long way to reduce further the risk of getting pink eye in dogs as a secondary condition.

Have you ever noticed your dog with a pink eye? If yes, how did you treat it? Do well to leave a comment below!

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