How to Know if Your Dog Has an Eye Infection

Our furry friends are susceptible to various health issues, and one common problem they may encounter is an eye infection. Eye infections in dogs can be uncomfortable, painful, and if left untreated, can lead to more serious complications. As responsible pet owners, it’s essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of an eye infection in your dog, so you can provide them with the necessary care and treatment. In this article, we will discuss how to identify if your dog has an eye infection, and provide answers to some frequently asked questions about this condition.

Signs and Symptoms of an Eye Infection in Dogs:

1. Redness: If you notice redness in your dog’s eye, it could be a sign of an infection. The blood vessels in the eye may become dilated due to inflammation.

2. Discharge: Excessive discharge, such as tearing or mucus-like discharge, can indicate an eye infection. The discharge may be clear, yellow, or greenish in color.

3. Swelling: Swelling around the eye or eyelid can be a sign of infection. It may cause the eye to appear puffy or partially closed.

4. Scratching or pawing at the eye: If your dog frequently scratches or paws at their eye, it could be a sign of irritation or discomfort caused by an infection.

5. Squinting: Dogs with eye infections often squint or keep their eyes partially closed to alleviate pain or discomfort.

6. Cloudiness: The affected eye may appear cloudy or hazy, which can be an indication of an infection or other underlying conditions.

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7. Sensitivity to light: Dogs with eye infections may become more sensitive to bright lights and may avoid well-lit areas.

8. Changes in behavior: If your dog seems distressed, lethargic, or exhibits any unusual behavior, it could be a sign of an eye infection or other health concerns.

9. Rubbing face on surfaces: Your dog may rub its face against furniture, the floor, or other surfaces to relieve itching or discomfort caused by an eye infection.

10. Visible foreign object: Sometimes, an eye infection can occur due to a foreign object, such as a small piece of debris or an eyelash, becoming lodged in the eye. If you can see a foreign object, seek veterinary assistance to have it safely removed.

11. Foul odor: In severe cases of eye infection, a foul odor may be present, indicating an advanced infection or secondary complications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dog Eye Infections:

1. Can dogs get pink eye?

Yes, dogs can get a form of pink eye known as canine infectious conjunctivitis. It is highly contagious and can spread among dogs.

2. Can I use human eye drops for my dog’s eye infection?

No, it is not recommended to use human eye drops on your dog. Consult your veterinarian for appropriate eye drops or ointments specifically formulated for dogs.

3. How are eye infections diagnosed in dogs?

A veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of your dog’s eye, including looking for foreign objects, testing the discharge, and assessing the overall eye health. They may also perform additional tests if needed.

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4. Can eye infections in dogs be treated at home?

Minor cases of eye infections may improve with gentle cleaning using a saline solution or prescribed eye drops. However, it is crucial to consult your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

5. Can eye infections in dogs go away on their own?

Some mild eye infections may resolve on their own, but it is recommended to seek veterinary care to avoid potential complications.

6. How long does it take for a dog’s eye infection to heal?

The duration of healing varies depending on the severity of the infection and the treatment provided. Mild cases may resolve within a week, while more severe infections can take longer.

7. Can I prevent my dog from getting an eye infection?

While you can’t completely prevent eye infections, maintaining good hygiene, avoiding irritants, and ensuring your dog’s vaccinations are up to date can reduce the risk.

8. Can eye infections in dogs spread to humans?

Certain eye infections in dogs, such as conjunctivitis, can be transmitted to humans through direct contact. Take necessary precautions and seek medical attention if you develop symptoms after exposure.

9. What are the common causes of dog eye infections?

Dog eye infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergies, foreign objects, trauma, underlying health conditions, or inadequate tear production.

10. Can breeds with protruding eyes be more prone to eye infections?

Yes, breeds with bulging or protruding eyes, such as Pugs and Bulldogs, are more susceptible to eye infections due to their anatomy.

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11. When should I seek immediate veterinary care for my dog’s eye infection?

If your dog’s eye appears severely swollen, is causing them intense pain, has a visible wound, or if the symptoms worsen or persist beyond a day or two, seek immediate veterinary attention.


Caring for your dog’s health includes being vigilant about their eyes. Identifying the signs and symptoms of an eye infection allows you to provide timely care and seek veterinary assistance if needed. Remember, your veterinarian is the best resource to diagnose and treat your dog’s eye infection, so always consult them for proper guidance and treatment options.