Beagle's eye close up

Eye infections in dogs can sometimes resolve spontaneously.

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My dog has an eye infection

By Dr. Laura Waring BVetMed MRCVS Veterinarian

Updated on the

If your dog has an eye infection, it may resolve of its own accord, but it could be a good idea to take your pet to see the vet.

Infections of the eye are a common problem for dogs. They are often mild and resolve well with treatment. You might suspect your dog has an eye infection, if you notice any unusual discharge from the eye.

Any problem that affects your dog's eye should be reviewed by a vet promptly to avoid the problem worsening.

What can I give my dog for an eye infection?

If you suspect your dog has an eye infection, it is important to get them checked at the vet. However if your dog has discharge from one or both eyes, it can be carefully cleaned in the meantime. It is best to simply use cooled boiled water and cotton wool. Wipe the eye gently in one direction to remove any debris. Throw the used cotton wool away and always use a new piece of cotton wool, if you need to clean the other eye.

Will a dog eye infection go away on its own?

Eye infections can sometimes resolve spontaneously, but not always. It is best to get your pet reviewed by the vet, so appropriate treatment can be started if needed. The vet will also check for other eye problems, such as a scratch or an ulcer, both of which may not be obvious but could be very serious if they go untreated.

How do you get rid of a stye on a dog's eye?

A stye on your dog's eyelid can cause a swelling of the upper or lower eyelid. Sometimes it may be red and it can be very sore for your pet. A stye is caused be a blockage of one of the oil-producing glands. To resolve the stye may require antibiotic and possibily anti-inflammatory medication, which can be prescribed by a vet, if needed. Sometimes using warm compresses on the eyelid can help until your pet's appointment.

What do dog eye infections look like?

If your dog has an eye infection, you might notice increased discharge from the eye. The discharge might look yellow or green and be sticky. Sometimes the eye might appear red and your pet might show signs of discomfort, such as squinting. It might be just the one eye affected, but sometimes both can be affected.

Can you use antibiotic eye drops on a dog?

Antibiotic eye drops are important treatments for some conditions that might affect your pet. However, they should only be used if prescribed by a vet. Not all treatments might be suitable or appropriate for your dog.

Are human eye drops safe for dogs?

Occasionally, a vet might prescribe antibiotic eye drops, which are similar to human medications. However, this is only done when deemed appropriate and after careful examination to ensure there are no other existing issues, such as an ulcer, which could be worsened by some treatments. Therefore you should never use your own eye drops to treat your dog.

Can I use triple antibiotic ointment on my dog's eye?

Again, it is important to only treat your pet with a prescribed medication from a vet. Seeking correct advice is vital and, therefore, you should never apply any other treatments that have not been prescribed for your dog.

How can I treat my dog's eye infection at home?

If you suspect your dog has an eye infection, it is important to get them looked at by a vet. However, if there is a lot of discharge in your dog's eye, you could carefully clean it with cooled boiled water and cotton wool. Just be sure to use a new piece for each eye and wipe in one direction.

What can I put on my dog's eye infection?

You should only ever use prescribed treatment for your dog. This is because using medications not intended for your pet could make the situation much worse. There could be other problems other than an infection, which can be detected by a vet.

Can a dog eye infection go away on its own?

Some infections may be self-limiting and resolve. However if you suspect your dog has an eye infection, it is best to get it reviewed at the vets. Eyes are delicate structures and there may be more going on than a simple infection. So never assume it will just go away by itself.

What does a dog eye infection look like?

If your dog has an eye infection, you might notice a green or yellow discharge. The eye might appear red or your dog might seem sore there, closing their eye or squinting. Sometimes there might be redness of the conjunctiva, or the third eyelid (which you don't usually see) might be more prominent than usual.

Can I use Neosporin on my dog's eye infection?

Never apply anything to your dog's eye that has not been prescribed for them. This is because it may not be appropriate and it could worsen the situation. Always get your pet checked by a vet, who will prescribe a suitable treatment if needed.

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