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Like humans, dogs can experience eye irritation, due to various causes. Here is a brief guide to irritation symptoms, at-home remedies and veterinary treatments.
If your dog is experiencing any of the following, he or she may be suffering from eye irritation:
- Red rimmed eyes
- Repeated rubbing of the eyes
- Closed eye
- Thick yellow or greenish pus discharge
- Irregular pupils
If either of the first two symptoms is affecting your dog, you can try a few of the following home remedies:
- To clean crusty or irritated eyes, you can make a soothing saline solution by mixing ¼ teaspoon sea salt and 1 cup of distilled or filtered water.
- For irritation or injury, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon eyebright (a herb). Add ¼ teaspoon salt and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into a clean glass container or bottle. Avoid contaminating the liquid, which keeps for 2 days. The solution can be used to clean the eyes.
- For yellowish discharge, pour 1 cup boiling water over ¼ teaspoon golden seal powder. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into a clean glass container or bottle. Avoid contaminating the liquid, which keeps for 2 days. The solution can be used to clean the eyes.
- Colloidal silver, available in health food stores, can soothe and heal minor eye irritations. Place a drop in the eye and clean with sterile cotton. Place another drop in the eye after cleaning.
If you have to take your dog to the vet, you can expect your dog’s pupils to be checked, along with the eyelid and the inner eye. The vet will also perform a complete physical exam, since some eye discharge can be part of a systemic disease. Viruses can cause upper respiratory conditions; in this case, antibiotics are often prescribed to combat secondary bacterial infections. Primary bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotic ointments or drops.
If your vet determines that your dog has allergies to certain substances, such as pollens, grass, wool, feathers or dust, he will probably have you bathe your dog frequently to remove the allergens from his coat. You will also be asked to vacuum your house frequently, for the same reason. Home air filters and air cleansing devices may help alleviate your dog’s allergies, as well.
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