An Eye Infection in Your Dog or Cat?

Causes   Veterinary care   Natural remedies   Complementary care   Prevention

Eye infections are not only uncomfortable for your pet, they may become chronic or lead to permanent eye damage if not treated promptly. An eye infection in your pet can be caused by a number of factors, such as:

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  • a foreign object or irritant in your pet's eye
  • a congenital defect of the tear ducts
  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • Lyme disease

Symptoms of eye infection include:

  • swollen or red eyes or eyelids
  • crusty eye discharge
  • watery clear, green, yellow, or reddish eye discharge
  • squinting or excessive blinking
  • cloudy iris (the colored part of the eye)
  • pawing or scratching at the eyes

Veterinary care

If your pet experiences symptoms of eye infection for longer than 48 hours without improvement you need to take your pet to a veterinarian. Obviously, if your pet is in pain or you suspect eye damage, immediate care will be needed.

Natural treatment for eye infection

If you believe your dog or cat may have some eye irritation, try using a homemade saline solution made from 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of lukewarm water. Drip the saline solution into your pet's eye using a cotton ball or eye dropper 3 or 4 times a day. Bacteria can form in homemade saline mixes so ensure that you make a new solution for each application and use a separate cotton ball for each eye.

Eye infection prevention

Eye infections are more likely to affect pets with a weakened immune system. Protect your pet by providing a well-balanced diet of quality pet food, including sufficient protein. Limit stress on your pet's immune system from chemicals, air pollutants and obesity.