A dog eye infection is a very common problem, usually affecting the conjunctiva which is the thin tissue layer or membrane covering the front of the eye.
When this membrane is infected, it can lead to conjunctivitis or pink eye and causes the eye to become inflamed, and filled with blood, puffed up and very painful.
Another common dog eye infection such as Cherry Eye and dry eye also occur as a consequence of infection in the eye and surrounding area. Dog eye infections may develop in one or both eyes, and does seem to be more common in dogs than cats.
Statistics show that some dog breeds such as poodles, Cocker spaniels, Boston Terriers, Yorkshire terrier, Bulldogs, Cocker spaniels, Bloodhounds, Saint Bernards, and Chihuahuas are more at risk from eye infections.
If you suspect that your dog has this condition, see your vet at once. Eye infections that are left untreated can result in severe problems such as blindness.
Discharge from the eye that looks watery or mucous
Cloudiness of the iris
Rubbing or scratching of the eye
Dog eye problems can evolve as a result of assorted bacterial infections, viral transmissions, canine distemper virus, allergies or sometimes birth defects.
Occasionally physical damage to the eye caused by foreign objects lodged in the eye can also cause eye infections.
Other causes of include eye diseases, such as dry eyes, anterior uveitis, ulcerative keratitis, and glaucoma, internal diseases, Lyme disease or irritants such as smoke, reactions to drugs, chemicals or other pollutions.
The diagnosis is based on the symptoms and a thorough eye examination by your vet which involves the conjunctiva, external eyelids and third eyelid.
Certain tests such as an ophthalmoscopic examination, Schirmer tear test to check if enough tears are being produced or fluorescein staining test to check for ulcers or scratches on the cornea may also be performed.
Other tests such as bacterial cultures, sensitivity tests, allergy testing, conjunctival scrapings or biopsy may also be performed if your vet feels it necessary.
Treatment depends upon the cause of the eye infection. Eye infections are usually treated with antibiotic or anti-inflammatory medications in the form of drops or ointment. Since the eye is obviously a very sensitive area and can be very painful, dogs do not like things being placed in their eyes, you have to be very careful, patient and gentle when administering creams or drops.
In some serious cases, surgery may also be performed. Your vet will show you how to clean the eye area and remove any discharge.
Natural and holistic treatments are becoming increasingly popular amongst dog owners as a gentler alternative to conventional medications. Treatments such as herbal remedies are safe and effective without being addictive. Herbal ingredients such as Arctium lappa (Burdock), Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary), Chelidonium majus and Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet) support overall eye health functioning and promote good vision.
Keep your windows up and your dog's head inside moving vehicles as foreign objects may become stuck in their eyes.
Examine your dog's eyes, regularly especially if they are prone to infections.
Clean your dog's eyes on a regular basis by wiping away a build up of discharge with eye wipes, use a sterile eyewash or tear stain removal treatments.
Trim the hair around your dog's eyes as part of his grooming program.
Annual checkups with your vet are important and should include an eye examination.
Remember that pollutants such as smoke, dust, chemicals or contaminated water can all be irritants to your dog's eyes.
If your dog gets into a fight, or spends a lot of time digging around the undergrowth, regular eye checks are crucial.
Eye-Heal contains a blend of pure and natural ingredients in an herbal tincture and will effectively help to support general eye and visual health in dogs