Table of Contents
What is conjunctivitis in dogs?
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common sight in dogs and cats. A study of 31,484 dogs in the US found 3% had something. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you crunch the numbers, it’s almost 900 dogs.
The eye and eyelid are covered by the conjunctiva. This includes the third eyelid in dogs. The protective function of the conjunctiva is very important. It forms a protective barrier and contributes to tear production in order to fight infections.
We call it conjunctivitis when it becomes inflamed. The tissue becomes red, swollen and hot whenInflammation is the body’s response to the threat. Inflammation doesn’t necessarily mean that there is an infection. When we discuss the many causes of conjunctivitis, you will understand why it is important to understand this point. How do you identify it in dogs?
Signs of conjunctivitis in dogs
Redness and swelling of the white of one or both eyes are the most common signs of pink eye. You may be able to see that your pup’s eyelid is swollen. Most of the white part of the dog’s eyes is covered by their eyelids, making it difficult to see conjunctivitis. When the swelling causes the third eyelid to show in the corner of the eye is the first thing we see.
Clear mucus or pussy can accompany conjunctivitis. It is most likely that there will be a discharge. The condition is likely to be present in both eyes with a clear discharge. A pussy discharge is usually a sign of a disease. When an eye injury becomes infectious, this could be in one eye.
squinting, blinking a lot, and pawing or scratching at their eyes are some of the signs of Conjunctivitis in dogs. You dog may not be able to see one or both eyes. When your dog doesn’t want to be near you. This is a sign of pain. Your vet will need to work out what the actual cause is for your dog’s symptoms.
What causes conjunctivitis in dogs?
Similar to humans, the most common cause of pink eye in dogs is an allergic reaction. The irritant could be dust, chemical compounds, or even dog hair. If only one eye is affected, it is possible that the other eye is not affected.
Injuries to the eye or a foreign body such as a grass seed are the most likely causes. This could be from a blow, a bite, or a thorn. A blocked tear duct, irritation from hair around the eye, or even an abnormal growth could be behind the eye inflammation. It could be an inflammatory reaction. After the conjunctiva is injured or irritated, it can be abacterial infection.
Infections as the cause of conjunctivitis in dogs
Dogs can get infections that are limited to the eyes. The condition could be a symptom of a bigger problem. When you have a cold or flu, think about how it will affect your eyes. The canine herpesviruses is the culprit, there are a number of other viruses that could be to blame. Even canine distemper.
Another possible cause is parasitic infections. One example of this is leishmaniasis which can be lethal if it attacks the internal organs and is left untreated. If the parasite attacks the mucosa (such as the conjunctiva) it can leave permanent scars. Leishmaniosis is present in tropical and subtropical regions and can be passed on to humans.
Non-infectious causes of conjunctivitis in dogs
Eyelid defects, where the lashes scratch the surface of the eye, are among the non-infectious causes of conjunctivitis. Dry-eye and blocked tear ducts are both causes of inflammation of the conjunctiva.
Conjunctivitis is often accompanied by disorders or other parts of the eye. A very serious condition which can cause blindness within 24 hours is tumours. Dogs can suffer from a variety of causes, from dust in their eyes to serious conditions that can affect their vision or even be fatal.
brachycephalic dogs with flat faces and prominent eyes are more likely to have eye problems. According to one study, brachycephalic dogs have a higher chance of developing the condition than non-brachycephalic dogs.
Red, swollen, and possibly goopy eyes in dogs are often a symptom of an underlying injury or illness. A full examination by your vet is the only way to find out what is wrong with your pup.