Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a common eye infection in dogs and occurs due to inflamed mucous membranes and soft tissues surrounding the eye. This inflammation produces an easily discernible pink-colored irritation in the affected eye. Conjunctivitis can stem from bacterial or viral infections, allergies, trauma, foreign bodies and insufficient tear production. While more serious cases warrant a visit to the vet and usually require antibiotic eye drops, minor bouts of pink eye can be treated with home remedies that are safe, soothing and effective. If, however, a seemingly minor case of pink eye does not subside after a few days of administering home remedies, a dog owner must consult a vet for treatment options since prolonged infection can cause permanent eye damage.
Home Remedies for Conjunctivitis in Dogs
Clean the discharge from a dog's infected eye to prevent the irritation from worsening. Soak a clean cloth or cotton ball with lukewarm water, squeeze out the excess water and gently wipe away eye discharge. Repeat this two to three times a day. Do not wipe excessively since this can aggravate the infection. Using an over-the-counter pH balanced eye scrub is another alternative to keep the eye area sanitary.
Herbal Eye Wash
Natural Dog Health Remedies suggests rinsing an infected eye with homemade eye wash that contains one teaspoon of salt, one 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.
If using a dropper poses difficulties, a dog owner can use a compress instead. Soak a cloth in warm water or herbal eye wash and apply it to the infected eye for about five minutes. Repeat this two to three times a day. If applied to both eyes, wash the cloth thoroughly before applying it to the other eye or use a new cloth to avoid prolonging the infection.
Applying artificial tears to an infected eye can be soothing and may help wash away particles that are causing the irritation. However, the PetCenter states that Visine should not be used since it only temporarily reduces redness.
According to the Dog Health Guide, common ingredients in homeopathic eye infection remedies include burdock, rosemary and meadowsweet. Burdock is a detoxifying herb that removes unwanted substances from the body. Rosemary is well known for its anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and antiseptic effects, and meadowsweet has astringent characteristics that heal eye infections.