Conjunctivitis in Dogs

This is one of the most common eye diseases in dogs . Of benign evolution in most cases, the inflammation of the conjunctiva can have multiple origins. Detecting the true cause, from the beginning, is essential to treat it and avoid consequences that can even lead to blindness.

Conjunctivitis in dogs

What is conjunctivitis in dogs?

We speak of conjunctivitis when there is an eye infection characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva of one or both eyes.

The conjunctiva is the moist, mucous membrane that covers the back and lines of the eyelids, as well as the front area of ​​the eyeball.

This pathology is so common that you rarely find dogs that have not suffered from it at some point in their lives.

Although the subject of conjunctivitis is quite complex, you will surely understand it by reading the guidelines on its ethology, symptoms and treatment that we have prepared in this post.

Types of conjunctivitis in dogs

Knowing the exact type of conjunctivitis in dogs is essential to apply the specific treatment that effectively fights this disorder.

1.Bacterial conjunctivitis

As its name suggests, it is contracted by the proliferation of bacteria that come into contact with the dog’s eyes, causing an infection. Affected dogs often present with eye irritation and tearing, often yellowish or greenish.


Viral conjunctivitis is usually the most common in dogs , spread by contact with another infected dog. It usually manifests itself through tearing, scabs, and blemishes.

3. Allergic

It tends to float especially in spring, as a result of allergens or pollution . Its signs are tearing, watery legañas and intense itching.

4. By foreign body or eye ulcers

This type of conjunctivitis is truly insidious. Any small splinter or object can cause the dog, in addition to a huge discomfort, an infection.

Another modality is the injury, caused by the rubbing of a simple twig or other object , which can lead to ulcers on the cornea of ​​the dogs. It is diagnosed by instilling a few drops of colored eye drops in the affected eye, in order to find the intruding substance.

5. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS

It occurs when the lacrimal glands produce fewer tears than usual .
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is an ophthalmopathy – orbit involvement, associated with an autoimmune pathology of the thyroid gland.

This conjunctivitis is sometimes confused with bacterial or nonspecific.
Some of the breeds genetically prone to having KCS are:

  • Cocker spaniel
  • Yorkshire terrier
  • Lhasa apso
  • Shih Tzu

Early detection of SCK is vital to prevent it from progressing to corneal opacity and blindness.

Symptoms of canine conjunctivitis

The signs of conjunctivitis are especially visible in the eyes …

  • Constant tearing
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Irritation
  • Legañas
  • Scabs
  • Viscous, green, or yellowish fluid drainage
  • Sticky eyes
  • Itch
  • Inconvenience

Dogs can show one or more of these symptoms, depending on how advanced the condition is

Conjunctivitis treatment

Remember that the reasons why your dog can contract conjunctivitis are multiple ; therefore, the treatment must be specific at all times, according to the cause that originates it.

As a general rule, the treatment consists of an eye drop , which is administered several times a day in the dog’s eyes; the components are different, depending on whether the dog needs antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or painkillers.

The logical thing is that, after the treatment, our dog improves in a few days.
To consider:

1- The medication must be followed until the end to avoid recurrences of the disease.
2- It is important to keep the dog’s eyes well hydrated so that they are able to cope with possible attacks; the application of products, such as artificial tears, is essential in keratoconjunctivitis sicca and other cases of severe dryness, although it is also recommended in other less serious conditions.
3- The number one rule to detect conjunctivitis early is to go to the vet with the dog, so that he can make regular check-ups, especially if we notice any discomfort in his eyes. Typically, your dog responds quickly to treatment. Otherwise, you will have to go back to the veterinary consultation to check the evolution of the disease.

“We must never apply to one dog the treatment prescribed for another, since the causes in both may be different”

Basic care in case of conjunctivitis

Daily cleaning of the eyes is an essential aid in the treatment of this disorder. The objective is to remove the crusts and crusts that form in the eyes several times a day. To carry it out, you will need a sterile gauze and physiological saline (prescribed by the veterinarian).

To prevent itchy dogs from scratching and injuring their eyes, the vet usually places an Elizabethan bell or collar on them. This is the only way to stop your dog from scratching the itchy area.

The hood is somewhat cumbersome, but very useful, since it prevents possible ulcerations.

Allergic conjunctivitis
In this case, the vet will probably prescribe a specific treatment, based on:

  • Corticosteroids, in the prescribed doses
  • Healthy food

Finally, do not forget that only the veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate drugs to correctly treat conjunctivitis in our dog.

Whether today’s topic is just a disorder or a major problem depends in part on medical checks and that large dose of care that you lavish on your beloved dog every day.