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Conjunctivitis in Dogs

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the tissue coating the eye and lining the eyelids. Normally, the conjunctiva is moist and glistening with tiny blood vessels coursing through the semilucent tissue. It serves as a protective barrier for the eye by trapping debris and helping to prevent invasion of viruses and bacteria.

Conjunctivitis is a common eye problem in dogs. It may be the only eye disease present, or may be associated with other diseases or eye problems.

Causes

  • Viral infections that affect the eye, such as canine distemper
  • Bacterial eye infections
  • Certain parasites of the conjunctiva or eyelids
  • Corneal diseases
  • Disorders of the tear ducts or of tear production
  • Eyelid infections or abnormalities
  • Exposure to foreign material such as plant material, fibers, sand and chemicals
  • Trauma
  • Allergies
  • Idiopathic, meaning that no cause is ever defined
  • Other illnesses, such as skin diseases, that can affect the eyelids and conjunctiva

    What to Watch For

  • Redness of the eyes
  • Eye discharge
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva
  • Squinting or excessive blinking
  • Occasional pawing or rubbing at the eyes

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