Can Dogs Get Pink Eye – What Are The Symptoms & Treatments?

Can Dogs Get Pink Eye

Worried that your dog is suffering from pink eye (i.e. conjunctivitis)? Find out symptoms, treatments and more below!

What Is Pink Eye?

Pink eye (otherwise known as conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of a membrane called conjunctiva. I.e. the lines inside the eyelids and the white of the eye.

The conjunctiva is there to protect the eyes from infection, but sometimes it can become infected. Conjunctivitis can cause itchiness and discomfort, but it isn’t normally painful.

Pink Eye Symptoms

How do you know if your dog has pink eye? Symptoms include:

  • Reddening of the white part of the eye (which is where the term ‘pink eye’ comes from)
  • Itchy eyes
  • Unusual discharge coming from the eyes, including stringy, thick or watery discharge
  • Excessively watery eyes
  • Eyelids stuck together
  • Your dog repeatedly pawing at their eyes
  • Squinting
  • Symptoms associated with a virus, such as sneezing or coughing

How Do Dogs Get Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis can be caused by numerous allergens, including:

  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Mould
  • Cosmetics
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dander

It can also be caused by viruses, including:

  • Sore throat
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Common cold

Other Possible Causes

  • Eye infection
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Bacteria
  • Getting something caught in their eye
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Underlining eye issues

What Do I Do If My Dog Has Pink Eye?

Conjunctivitis won’t go away by itself, so you will need to see your doctor to make sure the conjunctivitis isn’t a symptom of a more serious condition.

Your doctor can run some tests and prescribe medication for your dog’s eye. Don’t try to treat your dog’s conjunctivitis with non-prescription eye drops, especially human eye drops.

Medication that works for one eye condition could make everything worse if it’s used for another condition. Human medication should never be used on dogs unless your vet specifically recommends it.

Dogs with conjunctivitis who are left untreated could end up with sight damage, eye scaring, and in very rare cases the affected eye(s) may have to be removed! If your dog has a more serious underlining condition, ignoring the symptoms could be fatal.


Can I Catch Pink Eye From My Dog?

It is extremely unlikely, although not impossible, that you would catch conjunctivitis from your dog.

The only way you could catch conjunctivitis from your dog is if the conjunctivitis is caused by a virus or parasite. Your vet will be able to advice you if your dog if contagious and what you should do.

How To Stop Your Dog Catching Conjunctivitis

You can’t guarantee your dog won’t catch conjunctivitis, but there are some things you can do to lower the risk.

Dogs that roam freely outside and have lots of contact with strange dogs are more likely to catch conjunctivitis and other viruses.

Dogs that are not neutered have a higher risk of catching infections from other dogs. Consider neutering your dog to protect them from pregnancy, contagious illnesses

and getting into fights with other dogs.

Dogs with long, ungroomed hair can irritate their eyes when hair gets caught in their eyes. Long hair can also make it easier for foreign bodies to get stuck and end up in your dog’s eye. Groom your pooches hair, particularly the hair around the eyes, to minimise irritation.

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