Risks of recurring conjunctivitis in dogs

April 13, 2012

Dog pink eye and dog red eye refers to canine conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis in dogs, similar to conjunctivitis in humans is characterized by the inflammation of the thin membrane that covers the surface of the eyes. Generally, conjunctivitis is not a life threatening disease. This eye condition though has the tendency to recur. A dog owner has to know the conditions that can worsen the conjunctivitis of the dog. Dogs are intelligent creatures. Long association with humans allowed these four legged friends not only to understand human behaviors but to adopt some of these behaviors as well. However, it would be beyond the intelligence of dogs to avoid things that can aggravate an existing medical concern. A dog with conjunctivitis will not know that rubbing the eyes against objects can cause serious eye damage that can result to impaired vision. The cleaning, the care and the treatment that will prevent conjunctivitis from causing irreparable damage to the eyes of the pet will be the responsibility of the owner.

Conjunctivitis is the most common eye problem of dogs as the thin membrane that covers the surface of the eye and under surface of the eyelids serves as the first line of defense against infectious and non-infectious factors that can hurt the eyes. Dogs are very active animals that have the inclination to roam thus the thin lubricating mucous membrane that covers the surface of the eyes will always be subjected to dust, to small foreign particles, to allergens and to infectious agents from the environment. The inflammation of the conjunctiva can be caused by bacteria, viruses and some fungus species. Parasites as well as the invasion of foreign objects can cause the irritation of the conjunctiva.

Canine conjunctivitis is actually an inflammatory response against the intrusion of foreign substances and infectious agents. Typical symptoms of this eye condition are redness and swelling. The increase in size of the blood vessels will make the eyes appear meaty. Conjunctivitis is a painful eye concern. The eyes would have excessive pus-like discharge. The discharge gives the dog owner a clue on what causes the inflammation of the conjunctiva. If conjunctivitis is caused by allergens, the dog would have clear watery discharge. Thick yellow or greenish discharge is caused by bacterial or viral infection.

The affected dog will be seen squinting and making an effort to ease the gritty feel of the affected eye by rubbing it against furniture legs, against the carpet and on other surfaces. The dog owner has to be on the lookout for this kind of behavior. Dogs being dogs, it would be impossible to make the pet understand that the scratching and rubbing of the eyes can injure the cornea or can cause more serious injuries if the affected eye is stabbed or punctured. Conjunctivitis is a common eye concern both in humans and in dogs. This eye problem is non-life threatening but since the infection can be transmitted to the human family, treatment must be promptly administered. Another concern with conjunctivitis is the tendency of this eye concern to recur. Diagnosing the exact cause is very necessary so that the appropriate treatment can be administered. Incorrect treatment would worsen the condition of the eye. Deeper layers and other parts of the eye can get affected. Recurring inflammation can result to harder to heal eye problems. Conjunctivitis that is left untreated will cause secondary bacterial infections that can spread to other parts of the dog’s body.

Conjunctivitis needs prompt treatment. Once the causative agent is confirmed, treatment must be started. Doggy saline drop can be used to irrigate and remove foreign particles from the eyes. Antibiotics, topical creams and steroidal eye preparations are used as well. Most importantly, the dog owner has to ensure that the dog is prevented from rubbing the eyes to avoid other eye injuries.

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