Conjunctivitis is a condition that is commonly encountered in our pets, and can occur in animals of any age.
This video aims to describe the symptoms and causes of this painful eye condition as well as the available treatment options.
What is Conjunctivitis?
The word Conjunctivitis means inflammation of the conjunctival membranes of the eye, which are the pink membranes that line the inner aspect of the eyelids and loosely cover the whites of the eyes.
Common symptoms include ocular:

  • Discomfort
  • Irritation
  • Discharge (from watery to thick pus and mucus)
  • Redness

Important notes:
Some parts of the eye are usually much more red than others, and this does not necessarily mean your pet has conjunctivitis:

  • Front part of the third eyelid is usually quite red
  • Membranes over the white of the eye are usually pale pink

There are other conditions that may cause a red eye:

  • These require medical attention as well
  • Consult your vet if your pet’s eyes look inflamed

What Causes Conjunctivitis?
There are many causes of conjunctivitis in our pets. These include:

  1. Bacterial infections
  2. Viral infections
  3. Irritants like dust, smoke or chemicals
  4. Allergies
  5. Mechanical irritation from eyelid problems or hair around the eyes
  6. Problems with tear production: “Dry Eye”

It is worth noting that most infectious causes of conjunctivitis are species specific:

  • Not readily transmitted between people and animals
  • It is still important to practice good hygiene when manipulating your pets

How do we treat conjunctivitis?
This depends on exactly what is causing the disease:

  1. Surgery for mechanical irritation from an eyelid or hair
  2. Specific drops/ointments for most cases of conjunctivitis

Most cases of conjunctivitis, or any red eye, requires prompt medical attention. Always consult your vet if you suspect a problem and be careful to use any home remedies, as some of these can do more harm than good