Dog eye infection is a relatively common problem. It can become chronic or even cause permanent damage to the affected eye(s) if not treated. Treatment options vary from topical ointments and eye drops for dogs to prescription medications but you can as well find home remedies useful. In this article, we explore numerous effective, safe and easily available home remedies for dog eye infection.
- Causes and Symptoms of Dog Eye Infection
- Home Remedies for Dog Eye Infection
- Saline Rinse
- Chamomile Tea Herbal Remedy For Dog Eye Infection
- Homemade Eye Wash for Dogs with Eye Infection
- Dietary Supplements for Treatment and prevention of Eye Infection in Dogs
- Lemon Juice
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- When to See a Vet over Dog Eye Infections
Causes and Symptoms of Dog Eye Infection
Dog eye infections are typically caused by bacterial and viral infections. Bacteria tend to cause eye infections in dogs more commonly than viruses. An infection in a dog’s eye can, for example, occur when a dog’s eyes come into contact with the involved bacteria and viruses through contact with infected human hands, flying insects, other pets, etc. Viral eye infections in dogs can also be transmitted through the air.
Dog eye infection can also be secondary to food allergies, eye irritation by foreign substances in the eye, trauma, and low or poor quality tears production.
The main symptom of dog eye infection is thick, mucus-like, green or yellow discharge from one or both eyes. Eye discharge may also be accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Red eyes. Eye infection is one of the possible causes of a condition known as conjunctivitis or “pink eye”. Note that conjunctivitis may or may not involve an infection. Read more: home remedies for conjunctivitis in dogs.
- Consistent rubbing of the eye with paws
- Partially or completely closed eyes
Although dog eye infections can affect any dog at any age, breeds of dogs with drooping eyes or large skin folds around the eyes are particularly prone to this problem.
Home Remedies for Dog Eye Infection
As already mentioned, dog eye infection can worsen if not treated, causing your dog unnecessary pain and discomfort not to mention pose a risk of permanent eye damage. Some severe cases can even cause your dog to become blind or spread to other parts of the body e.g. brain. Below are some of the best home remedies for dog eye infection:
A saline solution is a great natural home remedy for dog eye infection and conjunctivitis in general. It is especially helpful for eye infections that are secondary to allergens and irritants as it helps to flush them out of the affected eyes. A saline rinse should be your first port of call as soon as you notice an eye infection in your dog.
Like all home remedies and treatments, the effectiveness of saline rinse in clearing the symptoms of dog eye infection relies upon proper usage. Here is how to use a saline solution to treat a canine eye infection:
- Pour a ½ teaspoon of salt into a glass of lukewarm water that had been previously boiled.
- Stir thoroughly to dissolve all the salt.
- Soak a clean cotton ball in the resulting saline solution and use it to apply it to your dog’s eye and wipe off any discharge, debris, or irritants. You may also consider splashing the solution onto your dog’s eyes before wiping them. Just make sure you don’t use so much pressure while wiping to avoid causing more eye damage.
- Use this home treatment for dog eye infection twice each day until the eye heal.
Chamomile Tea Herbal Remedy For Dog Eye Infection
The healing properties of chamomile tea are also helpful for eye infection in dogs. To brew and use chamomile tea to treat eye infections, follow the steps detailed below:
- To a pot of boiling water, add some chamomile tea (or drop a chamomile tea bag) and then let it steep for a couple minutes.
- Give the tea time to cool down so that it is just a bit warm.
- Put 2-3 drops of the tea into your dog’s eyes.
- Use the remaining liquid to cleanse the area around your dog’s eyes with the help of a clean cotton ball or Q-Tip.
- Repeat this dog eye infection treatment method 2-3 times daily until the infection goes away.
- Placing the tea bag on the eyes several times throughout the day also helps. Use it after it has cooled down of course.
Homemade Eye Wash for Dogs with Eye Infection
You can also treat eye infection in dogs naturally by combining chamomile with other ingredients to make an eyewash as outlined below:
- Pour 10 drops or so of chamomile into a cup. Red clover, eyebright, calendula, or St. John’s wort can also serve the purpose.
- Add a cup of purified water followed by 1 teaspoon of salt.
- With the help of a dropper or cotton ball, rinse your dog’s eyes with this eye wash twice or thrice a day.
- Repeat this home treatment routine until the infection clears.
Dietary Supplements for Treatment and prevention of Eye Infection in Dogs
Boosting your dog’s immune system is a great way to help it fight off eye infections and prevent their reoccurrence in the future. What a better way to achieve that than a dietary supply of vitamins A and C in addition to bioflavonoids? Simply look for dietary supplements with these vital dietary nutrients at your local pet food store or online.
While shopping for supplements, always look for products with fewer “pronounceable” ingredients, advises trupanion.com.
Lemon juice can also help to treat eye infections at home but as the Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer (OVDW) cautions, it should only be used if you are sure of the presence of an eye infection. This is because lemon juice is not helpful for conjunctivitis (pink eye).
A good way to tell if you are dealing with a real eye infection you can see yellow or green discharge.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of previously boiled or distilled water with 4-5 drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- With a clean cotton ball or dropper, drop 2-3 drops into each eye.
- Use this home remedy dog eye infection 2-3 times a day.
Apple Cider Vinegar
According to OVDW, apple cider vinegar can also help to heal eye infections in dogs. Raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is especially effective for the purpose. Here is how to use this home remedy for dog eye infection home treatment:
- Pour 4-5 drops of apple cider vinegar into a glass or cup containing 2 tablespoons of distilled or previously boiled cool water.
- Mix thoroughly and then pour two to three drops of the resulting mixture into your dog’s eyes twice or thrice daily.
When to See a Vet over Dog Eye Infections
The home remedies for dog eye infection listed above will help clear the bout in most cases but if that doesn’t happen, then you should seek the help of a veterinarian. Remember that eye infection can worsen if not attended to properly leading to serious implications, including blindness.
An eye infection that is not healing could also be a sign of a tumor or a foreign body in the eye. If you don’t see improvement after 2-3 days of using the above home treatment, or the condition seems to get even worse, take the dog to your vet immediately.
- Dog Health Guide: How to Identify and Treat a Dog Eye Infection
- OVDW: Eye Infections in Dogs, Cats – Natural, Herbal Treatments, Remedies
- Trupanion: Curing a Dog Eye Infection with Home Remedies
- Vet Info: Dog Eye Infection Home Remedies