A common problem we treat is a red eye or eyes. Whilst often we often find owners have tried an at-home human remedy to no avail this can be very detrimental and we will tell you why. Eyes are not something we like to leave for another day so best call us as soon as you see symptoms of a red eye or discharge coming from the eye which is clear, green or white, pawing at the affected eye, swollen skin around the eye, winking or excessive blinking. If not treated quickly, it can cause permanent damage.

Conjunctivitis literally means inflammation of the conjunctiva within the eye. This is the clear membrane which covers the eyeball and lines the eyelids. Most red-eyes will have a component of conjunctivitis. But what are the causes?

One of the most common problems we are seeing at this time of year is foreign bodies such as a grass seed, especially seen in cats but also dogs who run in the long grasses and fields.

Allergic conjunctivitis is one of the most common reasons for conjunctivitis which is why sometimes we will also prescribe anti-histamines alongside thir eye drops.

Scratches and ulcers in the eye can be a hidden problem. Caused by injury of the grass seeds mentioned earlier, if left untreated could have disastrous consequences.

Blocked or infected tear duct affect mainly smaller breeds but any breed can suffer this.

Dry eye is a condition in dogs where they are unable to make enough lubricating tear film on their own. This is often a lifelong condition requiring specific treatment. Other specific eye diseases such as glaucoma also fall under a similar category.

Bacterial infections normally cause green or yellow discharge and are much rarer than you think. 

The list goes on and so the treatment we will give for conjunctivitis will very much depend on the cause.

Getting eye drops into your pet may be tricky so getting the help of another person will help to keep your dog still. I’s a good idea to familiarise your dog with the bottle. Let them sniff it, and reward with a treat, so that they associate the bottle with something positive then put one drop right into the eye, being careful not to touch the eye itself and leave the eye to blink that solution over the surface of the eye.

We are sometimes asked if you can catch conjunctivitis from your dog. This is extremely unlikely, but if a parasitic infection such as roundworm is the cause this can be a possibility. That’s why it’s important to get your dog to the us ASAP and keep up to date with their worming regime.