Learn About Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) in Dogs
Definition of Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis, also known as red eye or pink eye, refers to inflammation of the delicate membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the outer surface of the eyeballs. That membrane is called the conjunctiva. It is extremely sensitive and has a rich blood supply; when the conjunctiva becomes irritated, it gets red and hurts. Conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye disorders in dogs. Symptoms include swollen sticky eyelids, excessive tearing, pawing at the eyes, squinting and pronounced eye redness. It can happen in one or both eyes and often is accompanied by abnormal goopy discharge. If not treated, conjunctivitis can permanently damage the cornea and other surrounding eye tissues. Many things can contribute to conjunctivitis, including trauma, allergies, foreign bodies, infection, cancer and immune system problems. Certain breeds are predisposed to developing this condition, especially those with long narrow skulls, deeply set eyes and poor tear drainage.
There are many causes of conjunctivitis. They include trauma, allergies, foreign body intrusion, bacterial or viral infection, neoplasia and immune-mediated conditions. Certain breeds are predisposed to developing conjunctivitis, especially those with long narrow skulls, deeply set eyes and inadequate tear drainage(Afghan hounds, Dobermans, Poodles).Dogs chronically affected by conjunctivitis – especially if it is due to a structural or conformational breed predisposition – probably should not be bred. Dogs with an immune-mediated cause of conjunctivitis may
Conjunctivitis is also called “red eye” for obvious reasons. It is painful and irritating to affected dogs and frustrating for their owners. Clinical signs of conjunctivitis include swollen and sticky eyelids, excessive tearing, pawing at the eyes, squinting, pronounced redness and inflammation. It can occur in one eye or in both and often is accompanied by a profuse, thick ocular discharge. Left untreated, chronic conjunctivitis can permanently damage the cornea and other surrounding ocular tissues.Medicated
The goals of treating conjunctivitis are to resolve the underlying cause, eliminate any bacterial, viral or fungal infection and eliminate ocular pain associated with the condition. A thorough ophthalmic examination must be done, including assessment of all conjunctival surfaces, taking samples for bacterial and fungal cultures, examination of conjunctival cells microscopically for infection or other disorder, applying fluorescein dye to examine internal eye structures, assessing tear production via a Schirmer tear test and testing intraocular