Dog Eye Infection: Symptoms and Treatment

Eye infections in dogs can be a pretty scary thing to deal with. Although the symptoms of eye infections can be pretty worrisome, problems with the eyes in dogs are normally very easy for vets to diagnose and treat.

There are several different types of eye infections in dogs, and they can manifest a wide variety of symptoms. Most of the time, dogs with an eye infection will have noticeable eye irritation and symptoms that seem unusual to dog owners.

In this article we will be explaining everything that dog owners need to know about eye infections in their pups. This will include explaining what eye infections in dogs look like, what causes eye infections in dogs, and how eye infections in dogs are diagnosed and treated by a vet. Let’s get right into it.

eye infections in dogs lakeland fl

What Are The Different Types Of Eye Infections In Dogs

There are several different types of eye infections in dogs. These different types of eye infections include conjunctivitis, uveitis, problems with the cornea, and infection of the eyelids or tear glands. Here are what the different types of eye infections in dogs are and how you can tell the difference between them.

Infection In The Eyelids And Tear Glands

Infections around the eyelids and tear glands are among some of the most common types of eye infections in dogs. This type of eye infection will likely cause discomfort and discharge in the eye.


Conjunctivitis is essentially pink eye, and it will give your dog’s eye a pink or red look. It will also likely cause discharge from the eye that may be foul smelling. Most of the time conjunctivitis is caused by a bacterial infection, but allergies and viral infections can sometimes cause conjunctivitis in dogs as well.


Uveitis is the inflammation of the interior portion of the eye, and it can be either the result of a severe eye infection or the result of another condition. Most of the time, the eye will be red and swollen. This condition is also fairly painful. Blood may or may not be present in this type of eye infection.

Problems With The Cornea

Problems with the cornea can sometimes cause an eye infection in dogs as well. However, this is a less common cause for eye infections in dogs than the other causes that were previously mentioned.

What Causes Eye Infections In Dogs

what causes eye infections in dogs

Possibly the most common causes for eye infections in dogs are bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. However, foreign bodies, irritants, and injury to the eyes can easily cause eye infections in dogs as well. In some rare cases, parasites may also cause a dog to have an eye infection.

It is also important to mention that some other kinds of eye conditions can appear to be similar to eye infections as well. Although this can sometimes be the case, these eye conditions will likely still need medical attention. As a result, you should take your dog to the vet if they ever seem to have a problem with their eyes.

Symptoms Of Eye Infections In Dogs

There are many different possible symptoms of eye infections in dogs, and they can vary depending on what type of eye infection is present. Here is a broad list of the most common symptoms that can occur in dogs with eye infections:

  • Pawing or itching at the eyes
  • Discharge coming from the eye
  • A pink or red looking eye
  • Eye swollen shut or more mild swelling around the eye
  • Excessive blinking
  • Light sensitivity
  • Squinting
  • Changes in the eye’s appearance
  • Signs of pain
  • Sudden poor vision

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, then it is a good idea to make an appointment with your vet. This way your dog can be properly diagnosed and treated for the condition that is causing their discomfort.

Even if you are unsure if your dog has an eye infection or not, it is a good idea to take your dog to the vet. This is because any problems with the eyes are not normal in dogs, and it is usually a sign of a medical condition. This could be an eye condition or a medical condition that is simply affecting your dog’s eyes.

How Are Eye Infections In Dogs Diagnosed

A veterinarian will likely take a look at your dog’s eye and then decide from there what kinds of tests that they should do. For example, a bacterial eye infection will likely need a culture of the eye discharge. Meanwhile, an eye infection that is caused by allergies may not need much testing at all.

In some cases, eye conditions in dogs are mistaken for eye infections. If this is the case, then your vet will likely run some more tests on your dog’s eyes. Some examples of these kinds of eye tests include the intraocular pressure test and eye drops that cause dilation of the eyes.

The intraocular pressure test tests for glaucoma, while eye drops can allow vets to look for other abnormalities in the eyes. Although eye conditions like glaucoma are not really eye infections, eye conditions like these are often mistaken for eye infections by many dog owners. This is because they often appear to be very similar symptom wise.

How Are Eye Infections In Dogs Treated how to treat eye infections in dogs

Eye infections in dogs are treated differently depending on the type of eye infection it is and what is causing it. Bacterial eye infections are normally treated with antibiotics, and fungal eye infections are normally treated with antifungal medications.

Meanwhile, eye infections that are caused by another medical condition or a viral infection will need to be treated before the eyes get better. For example, a dog with severe allergies causing their eye infection will need to have their allergies treated before the eyes can really improve as well.

In some cases, trauma to the eyes may need further or more advanced treatment than this. Very severe eye infections in dogs like these are less common than more minor cases of eye infections. However, severe injury or trauma to a dog’s eyes requires immediate emergency veterinary care.


Even though eye infections in your pup can be a scary thing to deal with, it is often easy for veterinarians to diagnose and treat these conditions. If your pup is facing a medical emergency with their eyes, get them into the vet as soon as possible.

For dogs in the Lakeland, FL area, Parkway Veterinary Emergency Clinic is an after-hours, overnight, and weekend emergency vet that is here to treat you and your pet. Give us a call today at (863) 665-3199.

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