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What Are the Signs of Pink Eye in Dogs?

A dog with pink eye should be examined by a veterinarian.
Redness and swelling around a dog's eye may be a sign of pinkeye.
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  • Written By: Dave Slovak
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2014
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Pink eye is a known and common ailment in humans, but this condition is also a very common problem for dogs. Pink eye in dogs, also known as canine pink eye or dog conjunctivitis, occurs when the conjunctiva, the part of the eye that lines the eyelids and connects to the eyeball, becomes irritated and inflamed. Some of the typical causes of pink eye in dogs include irritation by foreign material, such as pollen or grass, or infection from a virus, bacteria, or fungus. Some of the signs that a dog may be afflicted with this condition includes redness and swelling around the eye, increased fluid discharge, and a change in behavior.

Since dogs cannot say when they are feeling ill or distressed, owners should look for the symptoms of pink eye. Dogs with pink eye typically develop physical symptoms such as a pinkish color to the eye and fluid discharging from affected area. The eyeball may appear to be bloodshot, and the eyelid may become swollen, even to the point where the dog cannot open its eye. Pink eye also produces an increase in fluids, ranging from an increase in tears to pus-filled discharge, depending upon the severity of infection. This discharge may be yellowish or greenish in color.

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Dogs suffering from pink eye may also exhibit behavioral changes that will indicate to their owners that their dogs are ill. Dogs with pink eye can become sensitive to light, so they may avoid going outside into the bright sunlight. Also, dogs may become more lethargic, sleeping most of the time when they may have previously been active. Pink eye in dogs can be very irritating and itchy to the sufferers, so dogs may often rub their eyes on their paws, the carpet, or the ground. If a dog rubs its eye excessively, then the owner should consider putting a space collar on the dog so it cannot further irritate the area.

Treating pink eye in dogs is something most dog owners can do from home, but they should consult with their veterinarians first to be sure the infection is not severe. For home treatment, dog owners should first lightly wipe the area with a warm wash cloth to remove excess discharge and clear away any foreign material that may be around the eye. If a foreign object appears to be stuck in the eye, dog owners should not try to remove the object themselves and should instead seek assistance from a veterinarian. Dog owners should apply eye drops or ointments to the area to reduce swelling and to fight any infections. The dog should respond to the treatment and heal within a week or two, but dog owners should take their dogs to the vet if they do not see signs of improvements within a few days.

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Soulfox
Post 2

@Melonlity -- that's one of those "maybe, maybe not" questions. Here's the thing -- pink eye in dogs is usually caused by allergies or a bacteria. Pink eye caused by an allergy is not contagious, but one spread by bacteria is highly contagious.

Since it is hard for someone without some education in the matter to tell the difference between the contagious form and the one that is not, it is always best to exercise caution when either treating the dog or being anywhere near the critter. If a dog with bacterial pinkeye rubs up against your couch, for example, you could catch pinkeye by sitting on that couch.

Melonlity
Post 1

If you are treating you dog for pink eye, if it possible that could spread to you? Pink eye, after all, is very contagious when it comes to spreading among humans. Is the same true of dogs or do they get a "different" kind of pink eye?

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