Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) in Dogs: Symptoms, Treatment & Is it Contagious?


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Does your dog have swollen and runny eyes? It could be conjunctivitis. Also known as pink eye (and sometimes by the compound word, “pinkeye,” conjunctivitis in dogs can affect one eye or both.

This is a fairly common condition that can be treated easily. However, if left untreated, conjunctivitis can cause irreparable damage to your dog.

Symptoms may include reddened eyes, discharge, swelling, and irritation. While the most common causes of conjunctivitis in dogs are viral and bacterial infections, other factors like parasites, foreign bodies and allergies may cause the condition.

In this post, you will find in-depth answers for any questions you may have regarding conjunctivitis in dogs. So let’s kick off.

What Is Conjunctivitis in Dogs?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or irritation of the conjunctiva in a dog’s eye. That simplified definition raises a question: what is conjunctiva in the eye? Conjunctiva is a thin, clear membrane that covers a section of the front surface of the eye as well as the inner surface of the eyelid.

Some people define conjunctiva wrongly as the white part of the eyeball. The truth is that this membrane has two segments. The first is called the bulbar conjunctiva, and it’s the one that covers the white part of the eyeball (also called sclera).

The second segment is called the palpebral conjunctiva, and it covers the inner surfaces of the upper and lower eyelids. Now, when your dog catches conjunctivitis, the entire membrane develops an itchy inflammation. As a result, the dog may experience blurred vision and sensitivity to light, usually temporarily until the condition goes away.

Pink eye in dogs typically affects one eye and then spreads to the other through contamination. So if you spot it in one eye chances are within a few hours you will see it in the other eye as well.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Speaking of spotting the condition, what are the symptoms of conjunctivitis in a dog? The most common one is redness in the eye. That’s why the condition is also called pink eye.

However, a dog’s eye is significantly different from a human eye. It’s entirely possible to miss signs of redness in the eye, even if you spend hours on end observing your dog, which realistically, nobody does. So you need to be alert to other symptoms, including:

  • Watery eyes
  • A stringy discharge which can be clear or greenish, and may also contain pus or mucus
  • Puffy eyelids and swelling around the eyes
  • Crustiness
  • Eyelids that stick together

You can get additional clues by observing the dog’s behavior. For example, if your canine friend keeps pawning at one or both eyes then the problem could be conjunctivitis. Abnormal blinking and squinting are additional signs to look out for.

Generally, any unusual behavior by your dog can be a warning, especially if it relates to the eyes. If you are a dog owner, you obviously know how your dog behaves normally. Don’t ignore those strange behaviors that are not typical of your dog.

Also, it won’t hurt to go online and do a simple search for pictures of conjunctivitis in dogs. Sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Types of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Conjunctivitis in dogs can either be infectious or non-infectious. Infectious conjunctivitis is what we know as pink eye. It is caused by a bacterial or viral infection and is less common than non-infectious conjunctivitis.

Non-infectious conjunctivitis is caused by number of things, most often allergies, injury to the eye, congenital abnormality or when an irritant gets in a dog’s eye.

Causes of Conjunctivitis

What causes conjunctivitis in dogs? We’ve already hinted at bacteria, viruses, allergies, eye injuries, some abnormalities, and irritants. But that’s not all; canine conjunctivitis can be caused by several things. Here’s a breakdown that can give you a clearer picture:

1. Viral conjunctivitis

As the name suggests, viral conjunctivitis in dogs is caused by a virus. The most common culprit is adenovirus, which is actually a group of viruses that typically cause upper respiratory problems. Unsurprisingly, viral conjunctivitis can precede a common cold or respiratory infection.

Usually, viral conjunctivitis affects both eyes. It starts from one eye and then spreads to the other. So don’t hesitate to observe the other eye once you spot the condition in one.

While it’s extremely difficult to prevent viral conjunctivitis in dogs, you can help your pet in fighting off this canine illness. It’s often as simple as boosting the dog’s overall immunity through proper exercise and diet.

2. Bacterial conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis in dogs is caused by a bacterial infection. Many types of bacteria can cause pink eye but the most common are haemophilus influenzae, staphylococcus aureus, pseudomonas aeruginosa, and streptococcus pneumoniae.

As is the case with the viral type, bacterial conjunctivitis often starts with one eye but can spread to the other. It’s even more difficult to prevent because the eyes generally attract bacteria.

You can help your pet to heal faster by cleaning the area around the eyes (during the recovery period). Check for and remove discharge as well as crusting. While at it, observe the color of discharge and consult your vet if you notice anything alarming.

3. Allergic conjunctivitis

In some cases, your dog can develop conjunctivitis due to an allergy. This type of canine pink eye is not contagious, but rather seasonal. It can be caused by anyone of the many allergy triggers, from dust and dust mites to pollen and mold or dander.

Some cosmetics, perfumes, drugs, and foods are also known to be irritants. If you use them while living with an allergic dog, the dog may develop pink eye.

Compared to other types, allergic conjunctivitis in dogs is easier to avoid. Start by identifying your dog’s allergy triggers then try to keep the dog away from them.

Next, make sure that the dog’s eyes are consistently clean. Cleanse them of dirt, debris, dust and any other particles that typically cause eye irritation.

4. Plasma cell conjunctivitis in dogs

This type of canine conjunctivitis results from the inflammation of moist tissues inside the eye. It is distinguished by the presence of plasma cells. German Shepherds are more predisposed to plasma cell conjunctivitis than any other breed.

5. Dry eye

Canine dry eye, which is also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (or KCS for short) is a type of tear film deficiency that can cause pink eye. As is the case in humans, KCS impairs the eye’s ability to produce tears and (therefore) lubricate naturally.

6. Eye injuries, tumors, abnormalities and diseases

An injury or bite to a dog’s eye can cause conjunctivitis. The same goes for benign tumors of the conjunctiva and eyelid. Although rare, cancerous tumors can lead to conjunctivitis as well.

Certain eye abnormalities make a dog susceptible to conjunctivitis. They include eyelash disorders like ectopic cilia and distichiasis, both of which cause secondary conjunctivitis in dogs. The same can be said for eye diseases like glaucoma, anterior uveitis, and keratitis.

Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Other things can cause conjunctivitis in dogs:

  • Irritation to the dog’s eye, usually caused by foreign bodies like grass, smoke, and environmental pollutants, can be problematic. They can cause inflammation and ultimately conjunctivitis (inflammatory conjunctivitis).
  • An obstructed tear duct (also called nasolacrimal duct) can lead to conjunctivitis. Without tear production, some tissues in the eye, particularly those around the eye’s globe, get inflamed. When the inflammation spreads to the conjunctiva then the dog will develop conjunctivitis.
  • Breed and immune-mediated abnormalities may cause conjunctivitis in dogs. A good example is nodular episcleritis, which triggers conjunctivitis in Collies and Collie crosses. Similarly, dogs that have pemphigus are more prone to conjunctivitis.
  • Some parasites like eye worm can cause canine conjunctivitis.
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Is Conjunctivitis Contagious in Dogs?

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether dog pink eye is contagious. If you’re wondering, that’s understandable. After all, conjunctivitis is highly contagious in humans.

Generally speaking, canine conjunctivitis can be contagious or non-contagious. Infectious conjunctivitis is contagious, as you could probably deduce from the name. This is the type that is caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites.

On the other hand, non-infectious conjunctivitis is not contagious – again, the name tells you everything you need to know. This type is caused by any factor that is not viral, bacterial or parasitic. In other words, it’s dog conjunctivitis that arises from an allergy, blocked tear duct, breed predisposition, injury, trauma or tumor, and is not contagious.

Contagious conjunctivitis is rarer in dogs than in humans. However, if your pup comes into contact with the infected discharge or the affected eye of a dog that has the disease, then chances are that it will catch it. Similarly, if your dog is infected, he can transmit conjunctivitis to other dogs.

It’s a wise idea to keep your dog away from other dogs if you suspect that he has a dog pink eye. Also, remember to cleanse your hands thoroughly after attending to an infected dog. Otherwise, the viruses, bacteria and/or parasites can spread to other animals through your hands.

If your canine friend usually shares food dishes and bedding with other dogs, or other household pets, be sure to separate them temporarily until conjunctivitis goes away. You can go a step further and warn your neighbors, especially those whose dogs play with yours, that your pup has conjunctivitis. That will help them to put preventive measures in place.

Can Humans Get Eye Infections from Dogs?

Can you get pink eye from your dog? Some pet care professionals say that you can, but only if it is bacterial. Other types of dog pink eye don’t transfer from dogs to humans.

Bacterial conjunctivitis, on the other hand, spreads from dogs to humans. That emphasizes the importance of knowing the type of conjunctivitis that your dog is suffering from. Usually, bacterial pink eye is characterized by a thick yellow or greenish mucus discharge in the affected eye.

In addition to other typical symptoms of conjunctivitis in dogs (like pink or red eyes, crustiness, puffy eyelids, etc.), your pup is likely to paw at the eye vigorously. That’s because bacterial pink eye causes the eye to itch and burn.

For the sake of safety, always rush to get your dog diagnosed and treated as soon as you suspect that he might be suffering from pink eye. Otherwise, it may be a case of bacterial conjunctivitis, which may then spread to humans.

Can Dogs Get Eye Infections from Humans?

Yes, they can. Dogs, just like humans, can catch pink eye when they come into contact with human secretions that contain bacteria or viruses that cause conjunctivitis. In other words, if your eye is infected, then the discharge can spread pink eye to your dog. Of course you want to be with your dog, but make an effort to keep a distance – no “down close” snuggles and kisses until you can get treatment.

Conjunctivitis and Dog Breed Predisposition

While any dog can catch conjunctivitis, certain breeds are more susceptible to the disease than others. For example, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels and Schnauzers frequently experience dry eye, which can often lead to non-infectious conjunctivitis. And as mentioned already, German Shepherds are prone to plasma cell conjunctivitis.

Of all the dog breeds, Cocker Spaniels are especially more inclined to catch conjunctivitis. They, alongside Poodles, have a congenital predisposition to the disease1. Those two dog breeds need some extra care in terms of eye hygiene. You could also consider regular tests (even when there are no symptoms) just to be sure that your dog is not suffering from pink eye.

Some dog breeds, like Chow Chows and Shar Peis, commonly have a condition known as entropion. This condition forces the edge of the dog’s eyelid to roll inward. It is what gives them their distinctive look, but it also inflames the conjunctiva, sometimes resulting in conjunctivitis.

Another set of vulnerable dog breeds is those that tend to suffer from autoimmune skin diseases and allergies. These are mostly pups that have a short nose (basically brachycephalic dog breeds). If you own such a dog you’re likely to notice that its conjunctiva gets inflamed easily and frequently in comparison with to other dogs.

Similarly, if your dog is a Pekingese or Pug, you have a reason to be concerned at the first sign of a reddish eye. Their facial features make them significantly more prone to conjunctivitis that arises from air pollutants and foreign bodies.

The good news is that almost every dog recovers completely from conjunctivitis. You only need to ensure that your dog gets diagnosed soon enough and embarks on a treatment course before the disease becomes advanced.

Should Your Dog See a Vet Because of Conjunctivitis?

It’s best to take your dog to the veterinarian at the first sign of conjunctivitis symptoms. If it burns, then the dog will paw at his eyes, and this alone should warrant a visit to the vet to rule out pink eye. Of course, if it isn’t pink eye then the vet will test the dog for other eye diseases and conditions.

In some cases, the dog won’t paw as much (or at all). That’s when you need to be keener while observing his eyes. Check whether they are puffy, if there’s discharge and what color the eyes and discharge are. Anything out of the ordinary should also warrant a trip to the vet.

While there are suggested home remedies for conjunctivitis in dogs, you should never try to treat an undiagnosed eye disease/condition. Your pup might be suffering from something that’s not pink eye. Worse yet, it might be a combination of conjunctivitis and something else.

Also, as is the case with humans, medication for one disease may aggravate another. That’s the last thing you want, especially if you’re dealing with a very serious condition. Your dog could sustain permanent eye damage or even go blind. So, if you suspect that your canine friend has pink eye, seek a proper diagnosis from a veterinarian.

Diagnosing Conjunctivitis in Dogs

The first thing that your vet will do is perform a thorough examination of your pup’s eye and eyelid. At this time, he/she will look for signs of conjunctivitis and other ocular diseases. That’s a bid to establish whether the disease is in fact in the conjunctiva or another part of the eye.

The vet may also perform a general physical examinationthat will show the overall health and condition of the dog. That may include blood tests to determine whether the dog has any underlying illnesses.

There are several ways of testing for conjunctivitis in dogs. One of them is the Schirmer’s tear test method. This process is used to determine whether the dog’s eye produces enough tears to keep it lubricated. Keep in mind that conjunctivitis can come about simply because of a dry eye.

Next, the doctor may use the fluorescein eye stain method to check for conjunctivitis. With this method, the vet places sterile saline on a fluorescein strip, which he/she then places on the eye’s cul-de-sac. The stain is distributed on the surface of the eye when the dog blinks. The vet then uses a cobalt blue light to identify ulcers, foreign materials, and scratches. This is the point where the vet will be able to rule out ulcerative keratitis and foreign objects as possible causes for eye irritation10.

Once that’s done, the vet may proceed to a glaucoma test by checking pressures in the eye. Additionally, he/she may examine nasal cavities to see if they account for the irritation in the dog’s eye. If both are ruled out, then a culture test may be necessary.

A culture involves collecting a sample of the dog’s discharge from the cornea. The vet examines the sample to discover what the discharge consists of. That’s very important because then the vet will know whether it’s conjunctivitis and if it is, whether it’s bacterial, viral, parasitic or any other type. In case a culture isn’t enough, the vet may perform a biopsy of conjunctiva cells.

Will Conjunctivitis in Dogs Go Away On Its Own?

Conjunctivitis in dogs can clear up on its own. However, given that there are so many different varieties of conjunctivitis, it’s best not to leave it untreated. For example, infectious conjunctivitis is a very serious disease that should be alwaystreated with the help of a pet care professional.

On the other hand, non-infectious pink eye is not as serious. But it’s unlikely to clear up on its own6. More worryingly, conjunctivitis can be a sign of a more serious health problem that needs immediate attention.

Untreated conjunctivitis in dogs can have extremely unpleasant effects. Your pup could get a permanent eye injury and/or have a partial or full loss of vision in the eye. So rather than taking the gamble of waiting for conjunctivitis to cure itself, it would be prudent to take your canine friend to the vet.

Fortunately, virtually all dogs recover fully from this condition. The key lies in early diagnosis and treatment. Doing that will help a great deal in a speedy recovery, avoidance of permanent damage, as well as treatment of distressing symptoms like burns and itchiness.


Speaking of treatment, some of the most asked questions revolve around how to treat conjunctivitis in dogs. As many veterinarians will tell you, there’s “one size fits all” approach. The best treatment for conjunctivitis in dogs largely depends on the cause5.

For example, if the diagnosis indicates that your dog has viral conjunctivitis, then treatment is likely to include steroid eye drops and artificial tears. That combination keeps the eye clear of crust and discharge. It also eases the dog’s discomfort and suppresses some symptoms associated with conjunctivitis.

In the case of bacterial conjunctivitis, then the dog is likely to be put on antibiotic eye drops. Alternatively, the vet may prescribe a topical antibiotic ointment. Either way, the antibiotic will destroy the bacteria, or at the very least slow down their growth.

Treatment for allergic conjunctivitis in dogs is likely to include an anti-inflammatory drug or antihistamine. Combined with steroid eye drops, any one of those two will help relieve symptoms in the eye. Your vet may also prescribe artificial tears and a cold compress to treat irritation that’s caused by canine conjunctivitis.

What is used to treat conjunctivitis in dogs if caused by a foreign object? In that case, your vet may have to remove that object from the eye. More often than not the doctor starts by sedating the dog or putting it under full anesthetic. This allows the vet to remove the foreign object without risking further injury to the eye. If the object is not easy to remove, then surgery may be necessary. Similarly, a vet may perform surgery on the dog if it is necessary to unblock a tear duct.

As mentioned already, untreated conjunctivitis in dogs can lead to permanent injury to the eye or vision loss. So don’t skip the diagnosis and treatment.

You will also want to know whether your dog is suffering only from conjunctivitis, or if there are more serious underlying health issues. If it’s a case of an underlying issue, your vet will run more tests and propose an appropriate course of treatment.

How to Give Your Dog Eye Drops

If your vet prescribes eye drops for conjunctivitis, you might need to have a few tricks for administering them to your dog. Most dogs are usually not keen on having things put in their eyes. For that matter, neither are most humans! But here are a few tips that can help you do it properly and safely:

  • You can start by familiarizing your dog with the medicine. Let the dog sniff the bottle and then give a reward in the form of a treat. The dog will start to associate the bottle with a positive thing, and probably won’t take the medicine’s smell (if any) as something unpleasant. Also, approach the process when you’re in a good mood. Usually, when you have a good vibe going on, your dog will respond positively as well.
  • Clean your hands well and then clean the area around the dog’s eye. Do it gently yet thoroughly so that you remove all the discharge without harming the dog. If you’re right-handed you can try using your left hand to clean the eye. That way you won’t apply excess pressure while doing it, since you won’t be using your dominant hand.
  • Now hold the dog firmly and as close to you as possible. The dog shouldn’t be able to move freely, so if your dog is fairly large you can ask a second person to help out. The dog will respond best if that second person is familiar to him.
  • Wrap one of your arms around your dog’s shoulder and use that same arm to lift his chin upward. Make sure the eyes are looking up, and then proceed to gently lift the eyelid. You can do that by pulling the eyelid downward to create something like a pouch. Remember that dogs’ eye muscles are stronger than those of humans, and, some extra effort won’t do any harm to your pet.
  • Proceed to apply the drops as prescribed by the doctor. Be careful not to touch the eye itself.
  • Let your dog go and he will instinctivelystart to blink, thereby spreading the medicine evenly in the eye.

If, after several attempts, you find that it has become impossible to administer eye drops to your dog, you can discuss alternative treatment options with your vet. More often than not, antibiotics can be given in forms other than eye drops. Most of them also come as pills and ointments.

Home Remedies for Conjunctivitis in Dogs

How do you get rid of conjunctivitis in dogs using home remedies? As it turns out, you have quite a few options on that front. Here’s what to do if you can’t get pharmaceutical treatment for your dog for one reason or another (as an example, financial constraints):

Cleanse the eye

Cleaning your dog’s eye thoroughly will clear the discharge and reduce irritation. Simply soak a cotton ball or clean piece of cloth in warm water. Use it to wipe the infected eye gently. Do that two or three times a day and remember not to be too vigorous as that can aggravate the infection. This option sounds ridiculously simple, but it works. You can consider using a PH balanced eye scrub (usually bought over the counter) for a more thorough cleanse.

Herbal solution

If you’re trying to figure out how to treat conjunctivitis in dogs naturally using herbs, then this is for you. Make a solution that contains a cup of distilled water, one teaspoon of salt and 10 drops of an extract of any one of these herbs: calendula, eyebright, red clover, St. John’s wort or chamomile. Using a dropper, rinse the dog’s eye with the solution two or three times per day. Needless to say, dogs are not always comfortable with the dropper method. Consider an herbal compress if you’re having difficulty applying the solution, in which case start by soaking a cotton ball or a clean piece of cloth in the herbal mixture. Apply the mixture by compressing it to the infected eye two or three times a day. If both eyes are infected, then do one eye at a time and remember to rinse the cloth thoroughly before applying the compress to the second eye.


Further on how to cure conjunctivitis in dogs naturally, you can consider a homeopathic remedy that contains meadowsweet, burdock, and rosemary. Meadowsweet is popular for its astringent properties that cure eye infections. Rosemary offers pain relief alongside anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities. Burdock, for its part, is a detoxifying agent that expels unwanted substances.

As a precaution, do not give your dog a home remedy or homeopathic treatment for conjunctivitis in dogs before getting a diagnosis from a vet.

Post-Treatment Help for Your Dog

After (and during) treatment comes the recovery period for your dog. This is where post-treatment help goes a long way in ensuring a quick and full recovery. There are several things that you can do to ensure that.

For starters, you may need to fit your pup with a buster collar to prevent him from scratching his eyes. It’s normal for the dog to paw due to irritation, but the more it burns the more vigorous the pawing. Eventually, the dog might resort to scratching and causing further irritation and/or injury to the eye.

One of the things that you will have to do regularly is clean the dog’s eyes. Removing discharge and crustiness will ensure a speedy recovery and reduced irritation. Always wash your hands before and after touching your dog’s eyes. Remember to rinse the cleaning cloth thoroughly before using it on the other eye if both eyes are infected.

If the conjunctivitis was caused by an allergic reaction you may have to put in place measures that will prevent the dog from coming into contact with the allergen. Cleaning the house properly is one way of doing that. Also, walk your dog in areas that don’t have a lot of pollen.

Very rarely, conjunctivitis may be an indication of canine distemper. If you suspect that this is the case, then you need to separate your dog from other dogs and pets. Quarantine isn’t a bad idea if you have the materials for it. In addition to preventing the disease from spreading, quarantining will enable you to observe the dog’s recovery process closely.

If your dog has had his distemper shots (and if he hasn’t, then what the hell is WRONG with you?), this should be a non-issue.

Finally, if you notice that your dog’s condition has worsened, contact your vet immediately. As is the case with any other treatment, it’s possible that your dog can fail to respond to conjunctivitis medication or develop an adverse reaction.

How Long Does Conjunctivitis Last in Dogs?

That entirely depends on the cause. However, with conjunctivitis in dogs, symptoms generally last anywhere between a few days and a few weeks. For example, if the pink eye is bacterial it can last up to one month or even more.

Viral conjunctivitis, on the other hand, typically clears up within two weeks. The bad news is that with this type of pink eye your dog will experience worse symptoms in the first three to five days after catching the infection.

The one that lasts longest is allergic conjunctivitis. This one can appear any time, but mostly when there’s an abundance of allergy triggers (like dust, pollen, and dander), and can last indefinitely. Allergic pink eye doesn’t always clear up on its own; you will need to get your pup medication for it.

What about transmission? How long is conjunctivitis contagious in dogs? Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are infectious. Allergic conjunctivitis is not. Contagious conjunctivitis can only spread from one dog to another after the symptoms have appeared.

That means it’s only contagious after the incubation period is over – which can be up to 14 days. In other words, other dogs can be safe as long as the infected one hasn’t shown symptoms yet. But once the symptoms start to develop, the affected dog will start to pass the disease to other dogs.

Conjunctivitis and Blindness

Can conjunctivitis cause blindness in dogs? While very unlikely, it is indeed possible for a dog to go blind due to conjunctivitis. That can happen if the pink eye was caused by a foreign object, injury to the cornea or debris in the eye.

Any injury to the cornea is very serious and could require surgery to treat. Some pink eye medications can aggravate such an injury to the point of affecting vision in the affected eye. That’s why it’s important to know what caused the conjunctivitis in a dog before administering any course of treatment.

Also noteworthy is that medication for human pink eye is different from medication for dog pink eye. If the idea of treating conjunctivitis in dogs at home is tempting, at the very least start by getting a proper diagnosis and home remedy recommendations from a vet. The wrong medicine may worsen the state of the cornea and make your dog go partially or fully blind.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure: Ways to Prevent Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Can you do something to prevent your dog from catching conjunctivitis? Absolutely! Although pink eye can’t be prevented completely, you can boost your dog’s overall immunity. That will give your canine friend a better shot at warding off conjunctivitis.

First things first, keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date. Properly administered vaccines will naturally fight off diseases and parasites, some of which are associated with conjunctivitis in dogs.

Good pet care will also reduce the risk of conjunctivitis significantly. Such (seemingly) simple things as a good diet, regular exercises, and proper grooming will go a long way in keeping your dog safe from conjunctivitis. During grooming, be sure to clean the face properly and wash away debris or objects that can enter the eye and cause dog pink eye.

There’s also a general belief that spaying a female dog reduces the risk of illness. Obviously, that’s a big decision (especially if you want to breed) that requires considerable consideration. In any case, the other aforementioned will probably be sufficient to keep your dog safe from pink eye.

Chronic Conjunctivitis in Dogs

If your pup keeps getting pink eye even after treatment, that’s a warning sign for an underlying issue. You may need to liaise with your vet and get additional diagnoses for the dog. That should help a great deal, especially if you can’t seem to pinpoint obvious reasons for each flare-up.

Your vet may ask you to collect day-to-day information about in order to provide an accurate diagnosis. Any information that you can give your vet will help him or her to provide an accurate diagnosis.

Remember that untreated conjunctivitis in dogs can damage the cornea and deep-lying layers of the eye. Worse yet, the infection can spread to other parts of the eye and damage them as well. The results will be even worse if it’s chronic conjunctivitis. So don’t take it lightly; make sure that you attend to your dog as soon as the first signs of pink eye appear.

Frequently Asked Questions About Conjunctivitis in Dogs

What is conjunctivitis in dogs?

Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis in dogs is an itchy inflammation of the conjunctiva.

What can cause conjunctivitis in dogs?

Dog pink eye can be caused by many things, including canine distemper (viral conjunctivitis), bacteria, parasites, allergies, immune-mediated factors, foreign objects in the eye and so much more.

How is conjunctivitis in dogs treated?

Treatment for conjunctivitis in dogs depends on the cause. Generally, an effective treatment course includes any combination of steroid eye drops, artificial tears, antihistamines, an anti-inflammatory drug, cleansing compress, herbal medicine, and/or homeopathy treatment.

Is conjunctivitis contagious in dogs?

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are highly contagious. They can transfer from one dog to another. Allergic pink eye is not contagious.

Are there home remedies for conjunctivitis in dogs?

Yes, there are a few home remedy options for conjunctivitis in dogs. An herbal solution that contains calendula, eyebright, red clover, St. John’s wort or chamomile should work like a charm. But remember to get a diagnosis from the vet before embarking on home treatment for your dog.

Will my dog recover fully from conjunctivitis?

Yes. Conjunctivitis is completely treatable. The right medication, combined with proper hygiene, exercises, and diet, will see to it that your dog recovers fully from a bout of conjunctivitis. It typically takes two to four weeks for the symptoms to go away completely.

Can I catch conjunctivitis from my dog?

If its bacterial conjunctivitis, then it can transfer from dogs to humans. No other types of dog pink eye are transferrable to people.

Can I give my dog conjunctivitis?

Yes, you can. Your dog will catch the disease he comes into contact with your secretions that contain conjunctivitis causing viruses or bacteria.


Dog pink eye, or conjunctivitis, can look pretty scary, but it’s very treatable and in most instances, will have no long-lasting effects. If you suspect that your dog has conjunctivitis, get him to a vet for an approved course of treatment.

Related Content:

What Does It Mean When Your Dog Has Red Eyes?
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca in Dogs (Video)
A Look at the Canine Eye