Almost every person gets conjunctivitis at least once, but did you know conjunctivitis in dogs is also reasonably common? Conjunctivitis, aka pink eye, is an eye infection that affects dogs, cats, and humans too! But how do you know if your dog has it, and what do you do to get rid of it?
In this article…
We will try to answer some of the most common questions folks have about this condition to shed some light on what it means when your veterinarian tells you that your little furry buddy is suffering from conjunctivitis. We’ll also try and give you a few “things” to look for so that you can potentially minimize your pet’s suffering and get them the treatment that they need ASAP!
Because, after all…
We as “humans” know how uncomfortable it is to suffer from this relatively minor health condition, which is why we here at IndulgeYourPet see that you, as a loving pet owner, wouldn’t want your animal to have to deal with this discomfort for one second longer than they need to… Right?
What is Conjunctivitis?
As mentioned, this is an inflammation of the eyes that is sometimes called “cherry eye.” Well, not the eyeball, but the conjunctiva, which is the “medical term” used to describe the actual lining of the eyelid. And just like humans, dogs and cats who suffer from allergies will probably be more susceptible to pinkeye.
Cats and dogs suffer from allergies as well! And while their allergies are less likely to be “pet related,” your furry little buddy may experience an allergic reaction to other environmental allergens such as:
- Chlorine used in pools,
- Cleaning products,
- Ect, ect…
Which, as a result, could cause your animal to suffer from conjunctivitis. Most common symptoms:
- Pink or redness around the eyes (Hence the name, pink eye.).
- Swelling around the eye.
- Watery “gunk” in the eyes (Okay, the more correct way to say it is “eye discharge”).
- Uncontrollable blinking.
- Compromised tear production.
Now for humans…
It’s usually pretty easy to identify the source of pink eye because it “goes around.” For example, your child probably got it from someone in their class. If you hear another kid in class has it, you’ll even know your kid is at risk before they get it. But with dogs, it’s another story. It’s not like you’re going to able to talk to their “buddies” and see if pink eye is going around! Plus, in pets, their conjunctivitis could result from other factors beyond just environmental stimuli. Factors such as:
- Bacterial infections,
- Autoimmune disorders,
- Corneal ulcers,
- Follicular conjunctivitis.
And in sporadic cases, even cancer. Some dog breeds are also prone to skin diseases. If that’s true of your dog’s breed, then that might be why he’s also more susceptible to redness of the conjunctiva.
Most of the time, some simple eye drops can clear up this kind of eye infection. However, your veterinarian is the right person to decide the exact treatment after a diagnosis of conjunctivitis has been made. They might want to do some other tests to ensure that your animal’s conjunctivitis isn’t ulcerative keratitis or, as mentioned, some cancer.
Your pet’s eye inflammation may be that something is stuck under the lid. So here are the possible treatments your dog will have to face after ruling out another disease and getting a precise pink eye diagnosis:
- Artificial tears/eye drops.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Diet changes (if related to allergies).
What if it’s more severe if your dog has a condition in the cornea, cancer, canine distemper, or something else is wrong? Then, you will have to do an entirely different treatment plan, which could range from antibiotics to radiation therapy (we know that’s a big swing!).
But the truth is…
If you think there is something wrong with the eyes of your pet, the thing you should do right now is go to the veterinarian. Because when it comes to the health of your animal’s eyes, it’s never TOO soon to have them checked out by a professional! Because you see, while we here are passionate about the health and well-being of animals, we’re not medical professionals, and we’re certainly not trained veterinarians. This is why, if you even have the “slightest” worry that your dog may be suffering from an “eye condition” or any medical condition, you first want to have a vet check-in.
After all, Our motto around here is…
“When in doubt, have a vet check it out!”
Plus, the sooner you have your pet examined, the greater your chances are that a “mild” condition won’t exacerbate itself into a more extensive, more serious medical condition for your loved one. The one thing that we can tell you for sure is that when you combine the words “serious condition” with “veterinarian” in the same sentence, you can be sure that the word “EXPENSIVE” is sure to follow!
Which is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet always like to recommend that any pet owner take a few moments and do a bit of research on what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your furry little friend. Because you never know, one of these policies could save you a “Ton” throughout your animal’s life if she ever suffers from a “serious” medical condition.
For more information about who we feel offers the “best” pet insurance policies, check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.