Conjunctivitis - Pink Eye in Dogs | PetFirst Pet Insurance
Pet Care & Health

Conjunctivitis – Pink eye in dogs

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
5 years ago


What is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pinkeye, occurs when the conjunctiva of the eye (the moist tissue that covers the front part of the eyeball and lines the eyelids) becomes inflamed. Breeds which tend to have allergies tend to most commonly experience conjunctivitis. Dogs who are allergic to environmental factors are primarily affected.

Dog Breeds Prone to Developing Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is found to occur in all breeds but is most commonly seen in dogs who experience allergies including:

  • Pug
  • Shar-Pei
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Shih Tzu
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Dalmatian
  • Boxer
  • Boston Terrier
  • Lhasa Apso

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

  • Frequent squinting
  • Redness of the eye
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Swelling of the eye

Causes of Conjunctivitis
There are several causes of ‘pinkeye’ or conjunctivitis.

  • Bacterial causes: Bacteria may enter the eyelids of young puppies prior to their eyes opening resulting in conjunctivitis
  • Reduced immune systems: allergies, inflammation of the eye due to plasma cells; lowered immune responses
  • Viral: Canine distemper virus
  • Diseases of the eyelid
  • Diseases of the eyelash
  • Irritation from dust particles
  • Glaucoma

Treating Conjunctivitis in Dogs
Your veterinarian will conduct an eye examination. Your veterinarian will often first want to rule out another condition, ulcerative keratitis. Your veterinarian will also ensure there are not any foreign materials in the eye causing the irritation. A test for glaucoma will be conducted by determining the pressure in the eye. If there is any discharge appearing, the discharge may be tested.

There are many causes of this condition and the treatment will be based on the cause. Most commonly, it is simply a bacterial infection which your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics for. If your veterinarian suspect allergies may be causing the irritation, a specialized diet will be recommended. In the cases where an obstruction is suspected, surgery may be required to remove the obstruction.

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.


Guest blogger Amber L Drake and her dog
Amber L. Drake, a Professional Canine Behaviorist and Adjunct Professor of Biological Science, has extensive experience in the Animal Science Field. She has worked with dogs professionally for over ten years. Her clients range from private pet parents to large canine rescue organizations. In addition to accepting clients on a regular basis, Drake serves as an Adjunct Professor at Jamestown Community College and Kaplan University. Drake has earned a Doctor of Education (ABD), Educational Specialist Post-Masters, Master of Arts in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She has completed coursework at Cornell University for Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Biochemistry at UC Berkeley, Veterinary Technology at Penn Foster and a number of Continuing Education courses to remain up-to-date in her field.

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