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Conjuctivitis (Pink Eye) in Dogs




There are many possible causes for this disease, and the course of treatment will be determined by the cause. For example, if there is a bacterial infection, your veterinarian will probably prescribe an antibiotic ointment, and possibly antibiotic medication to be taken by mouth. An elimination diet may also be recommended if dietary allergies are suspected -- foods will be cut back to the minimum, or changed, and then different foods will be slowly added to the regular diet to test whether the source of the reaction is food based. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove an obstruction in a duct. If cancer is the diagnosis, surgical removal of the tumor may be recommended, followed by radiation therapy. Your veterinarian may recommend cryotherapy, a therapy which uses cold application. In the most serious and severe cases, removal of the eyeball and surrounding tissues will need to be performed.


If inflammation is present, medications will be prescribed depending on the cause. Your veterinarian will make these determinations and recommendations. In the case of newborn conjunctivitis, your doctor will open the eyelids with great care, drain the discharge, and treat the eyes with a topical antibiotic.


Living and Management


If the cause is an allergy, you will need to try to prevent contact with whatever your pet is reacting to. To decrease the risk of spreading an infectious disease, try not to expose your pet to other animals, especially in regards to the canine distemper virus.


If your doctor makes a diagnosis of food based allergies, you will need to follow the recommendations concerning diet. You may need to make a strict plan to determine what foods, if any, are causing the irritation. You will need to take your pet for a veterinary recheck after five to seven days.


If a large amount of discharge is noted, gently clean the eyes before applying any ointment. If both solutions and ointments are prescribed, apply the solutions first. If several solutions are prescribed, wait several minutes between the application of each. If the condition worsens and it is apparent that your pet is not responding to the treatment, or is even having an adverse reaction to the treatment, you will need to contact your veterinarian immediately for advisement. An Elizabethan collar to protect the eyes from scratching or rubbing can be especially helpful for the healing process.