The conjunctiva is the tissue that is present around a dog’s eyeball; it serves as a lining around the eyelid and third eyelid. When this tissue becomes swollen and/or inflamed, this is referred to as conjunctivitis.
Signs & Symptoms of Conjunctivitis in Dogs
- Eye appears bloodshot
- Discharge from the eye
- Excessive blinking
- Holding the eye(s) closed
- Excessive rubbing of the eye(s)
- The third eyelid may be protruding
Causes of Conjunctivitis in Dogs
There are numerous causes for conjunctivitis:
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Tear deficiency (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
- Environmental irritants
- Chemical irritants
Diagnosis of Conjunctivitis in Dogs
Diagnosis begins with a complete history and a physical exam of the dog. Your veterinarian will be most likely do the following:
- Eye exam with ophthalmoscope - Your veterinarian will likely perform a complete eye exam using an ophthalmoscope with a light and high magnification to examine your dog’s eyes for any abnormalities.
- Corneal stain - A fluorescent dye is placed in the eye and then examined with an ultraviolet light. If an ulcer is present it will glow green under the UV light. Your veterinarian can now evaluate the size and location of the ulcer.
Treatment for Conjunctivitis in Dogs
Treatment for conjunctivitis is focused on finding and treating the specific cause, and may include both topical and systemic medications. Topical eye medications such as drops or ointments are commonly used, and oral antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications may also be used.
Prevention of Conjunctivitis in Dogs
There is no prevention for conjunctivitis.