Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a common eye infection in dogs and occurs due to an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a membrane that lines the eyelids and the white portion of the eye. The infection can be caused by a few different things. Luckily, home treatment is possible. That said, a veterinarian should check out your dog to be sure you know the cause of the infection.
Causes of dog conjunctivitis
While a dog conjunctivitis home remedy is likely possible, before you treat your dog, it is crucial to know the underlying cause of the issue. According to VCA Hospitals, causes of dog conjunctivitis include a viral infection, allergies or other immune issues, tumors in the eye area, an eyelid abnormality, or something that gets into the eye and irritates it. The vet's examination will include detailed observations of the eye, inducing tear production, checking the cornea for damage, and measuring eye pressure to rule out glaucoma.
Another cause is canine distemper. Blue Cross says canine distemper is potentially fatal. Dogs who have up-to-date vaccinations are less at risk. This virus is passed on by direct contact with the saliva of another infected dog, and if dogs do catch it, there is no cure.
Other causes of dog conjunctivitis could be viruses or even parasites. In the case of a parasite, it is possible that the dog could transfer the infection to its human family. Blue Cross says that a parasite known as eye worms, or Thelazia callipaeda, is carried by fruit flies. This parasite is not very common in the United States, however.
Dog conjunctivitis home remedy
According to Small Door Veterinary, a cool compress on the eye can be a positive dog conjunctivitis home remedy. If your dog's veterinarian prescribes eye drops, these can be given by you at home.
Keep the eyes clean. Natural Dog Health Remedies suggests rinsing an infected eye with homemade eye wash that contains 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of distilled or filtered water and 10 drops of one of the following herbal extracts: eyebright, calendula, chamomile, red clover or St. John's wort. Use a dropper to rinse the irritated eye two to three times per day.
Natural Dog Health Remedies suggests making a chamomile tea, soaking a cloth in it, and using that as an eye compress. Apply it to your pet's eye for a few minutes two or three times a day. Dog Health Guide suggests that dog conjunctivitis home treatment can include homeopathic remedies such as the herbs burdock, rosemary, and meadowsweet.
Recovery from conjunctivitis
Most of the time, dogs recover from conjunctivitis without any issues. A dog who experiences recurrent or severe eye infections may need further treatment. If the dog pink eye home remedy you try doesn't work, the veterinarian may need to try something like a prescribed antibiotic eye ointment or an anti-inflammation treatment.
If the conjunctivitis is a secondary infection caused by another issue, the primary issue may need to be addressed before the home remedy can be effective. For instance, a dog can have a congenital eye or eyelid deformation that causes his eyelids to not protect his eyes as well, causes less tear production, or causes other similar problems that can affect eye health. Dogs with eyelid or eyelash abnormalities could require surgical correction in order to remove the underlying cause of the infections that continue.