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.