Many factors can cause canine conjunctivitis including distemper, viruses, allergies, dirt, trauma, dry eye and chronic illness. KCS or kerato-conjunctivitis in dogs is the dry inflammation of cornea and conjunctiva, usually seen in small breeds. Today, we will be discussing dog eye infection symptoms as well as some home remedies to treat dog conjunctivitis at home.
Dog conjunctivitis symptoms
Canine eye infection symptoms can affect one or both eyes. The symptoms include:
- Heavy white or yellow pus like discharge. The discharge can be extremely heavy at times and cause the eyelids to stick together.
- Redness of eyes.
- Watery eyes.
- Swollen eyes.
Dog eye infections can also occur due to trauma or entry of foreign object into the eye. Infections tend to spread quickly and aggravate soon. If left untreated, they can cause blindness. So see your vet immediately if symptoms do not ease up.
Causes of dog eye infections
As stated before, many factors can cause eye infections. Distemper is one of the more serious causes which can lead to dog conjunctivitis. It is characterized by thick mucus like discharge along with loss of appetite and diarrhea. Distemper can also cause seizures which can be fatal. Quick diagnosis and prompt medical treatment can help prevent death.
Viruses, dirt and allergies can also cause conjunctivitis and other dog eye infections. Do not allow your pet to put his head out of the window during car rides. A foreign particle could enter in his eye causing conjunctivitis.
Home remedies to treat dog conjunctivitis
Hold your pet still
Your dog’s eyes should be clear and moist. If he suddenly develops discharge and his eyelids are glued together, use a bit of warm water to gently clear away the stickiness. Your dog will move a lot as you try to do this. It will help if you can get someone to hold him still at the neck. You can also use a towel or a pillowcase to wrap around his body in order to limit movement. In case of bigger dog breeds, you need to get your pet to lie down between your legs with his back to your chest. Loop one arm around his chest and hold his muzzle with the other arm. Wipe his eyes gently.
Immerse a clean cloth or handkerchief in warm water. Squeeze out the excess and use the cloth to wipe away the discharge from your dog’s eyes. Warm water helps loosen hardened crust to remove stickiness from the eyelids.You will have to repeat this step several times until all the discharge clears up.
Sterile saline contact lens solution
Wash your pet’s eyes with sterile contact lens. As mentioned in the first step above, hold your pet still. Squeeze the lens solution in your pet’s eyes to flush away the dirt. Do this 2-3 times a day.
Aloe Vera gel
Aloe Vera is anti inflammatory and it also has mild antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Simply cut open a leaf and apply the gel on the dogs eyes. It is not easy; there is always a bit of struggle. But do this diligently 2-3 times a day and within a few days the discharge usually clears up. If you do not have Aloe at home, you can use commercial Aloe gel. But please ensure that the product you use is free from chemicals, parabens etc.
For irritated and infected eyes in dogs, coconut oil works wonders. It is perfectly safe as long as you use organic cold pressed coconut oil. Administering the oil in a pet’s eyes can be a bit tricky; use following steps:
- Melt the oil by placing it in warm water.
- Take a little bit of the oil in a clean medicine dropper.
- Have someone hold your dog.
- Administer 2-3 drops in each of your pet’s eyes.
Coconut oil for dog conjunctivitis works well owing to its antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. Some dog owners have also seen great results in reducing unsightly tear stains in their dogs with this holistic remedy.
Many essential oils are safe for use in dog conjunctivitis. Chamomile essential oil is especially beneficial as it relaxes the eyes and soothes inflamed tissues. Add a few drops of chamomile oil to a teaspoon of coconut oil. Take the mixture on a clean cotton ball and gently wipe your pet’s eyes.
Cucumber slices and juice
Hold cucumber slices over your pet’s eyes-if he allows it. This will help reduce swelling and inflammation. You can also add cucumber juice as eye drops in the infected eye.
Brew tea using eyebright or golden seal herbs. Use the warm tea to wash your pet’s eyes. Add some vitamin E oil to the teas to enhance healing. You can also administer eyebright and golden seal tinctures to your dog internally to heal and soothe the eyes.
Soak a clean cloth in witch hazel and apply the compress on your pet’s eyes when he is sleeping.
Homeopathic remedies for dog eye infections
- Euphrasia eye drops can be used to reduce swelling, redness and discharge. Tablets or pellets of Euphrasia taken internally speed up the healing process.
- Pulsatilla 30 C is a good remedy for thick, yellowish discharge.
- Distempernium 30 C- this is a specially prepared remedy for a dog with early stages of canine distemper. It can produce healing in just 2 days. Speak to an experienced homeopath regarding this remedy.
- Apis mel 30 C is recommended for sudden onset of watering, redness etc.
- Argent nit is prescribed for mild, uncomplicated cases.
Feed your pet a natural, grain free diet. Administer vitamins to your buddy to strengthen his immune system against viruses and allergens. Zinc is especially necessary for healing the eyes. Remember that underlying food allergies can also cause eye problems. So a change of diet can help.
Like human eyes, dogs’ eyes can also have problems. Our pets depend on us to take care of them. Normal or healthy dog eyes should be clear and moist without swelling or discharge. As a pet owner it is your responsibility to check your dog’s eyes from time to time. If any sign of problem is present, have it treated immediately.