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The first step in treating a dog eye infection is recognizing the symptoms, such as yellow or greenish discharge, irritation or itchiness, and a "cloudy" look to the eye. In severe cases the dog may also struggle to open the eye. There are several ways to treat eye infections in dogs, beginning with cleaning the eye with a saline solution. If there is no improvement within a day or two, an ophthalmic ointment or drops may be needed along with a visit to the vet.
One of the simplest ways to treat a dog eye infection is to use a saline solution to clean the eye. This should be done several times daily. Wet a piece of cotton with saline solution and hold it over the eye to help soften any discharge buildup before wiping it away. Warm compresses can also be used to help ease the irritation. If your dog tries to scratch at the eye it may be wise to invest in a special collar, such as those used after surgery.
Saline solution can be purchased, but it can also be made at home. Use a teaspoon of table salt for every 34 ounces (about 1 liter) of distilled water. Tap water can also be used, but it should be boiled and cooled before adding the salt. Keep in mind that a mixture that is too salty could burn the eye, so it is safest to stick to the recommended salt to water ratio. When treating a dog eye infection at home, monitor the dog closely in case the infection worsens.
There may be occasions where medication is needed to clear the infection, and in a situation such as this it is best to contact your vet and have the dog examined. If the infection requires additional treatment, your vet will likely prescribe ophthalmic ointment or drops. Your vet can also offer valuable advice on the usage and application of these treatments.
When dealing with a dog eye infection, it can be tempting to rummage through the medicine cabinet, but it is best to avoid this. Some experts advise against using medication for humans on dogs since there can be unwanted side effects. Some veterinary offices have a pharmacy and can sell medicines without a consultation, and this might be a more affordable way to obtain treatment.