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Conjunctivitis in dogs - what you need to know

Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the moist tissues in dogs’ eyes. It can cause their eyes to discharge fluid and other uncomfortable symptoms, leading to infection.

How to spot if your dog has conjunctivitis

There are several common symptoms of conjunctivitis including:

  • Persistent squinting
  • Regular and excessive blinking
  • Redness of the eye tissue
  • Eye discharge
  • Fluid build-up in the eye
  • Upper respiratory infection

What causes conjunctivitis in dogs?

There are several viruses that cause conjunctivitis, one of the most common is the herpes virus. Dogs who are regularly exposed to other dogs with viral infections are more prone to develop the disease.

Bacteria can also cause conjunctivitis, as can allergies or even a stone or dust particle lodging in the eye. If your dog has dry eye then they may be more like to get conjunctivitis.

How is conjunctivitis in dogs treated?

If there is a suspected allergy causing the infection, the issue should clear up when the cause is removed from your dog’s environment. If the infection is due to a virus or bacteria, there are some commonly prescribed medications to manage the inflammation – including oral and external antibiotics.

It’s a good idea to discuss costs with your vet before you start treatment.

How do I avoid the conjunctivitis reoccurring in my dog?

Limiting your dog’s exposure to possibly-affected animals can prevent recurrence of conjunctivitis

If you’re thinking of adopting a dog with conjunctivitis

Make sure you review the clinical history of your new dog and ask for more details on how the conjunctivitis has been treated. You’ll need to sign a disclaimer to confirm you’ve been made aware of the condition. Any dog who’s had treatment is likely to have pet insurance exclusions, so it’s worth discussing potential on-going costs with your vet.

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