Red Eye in Dogs - Page 1

My Pet: FREE Tools to Care for Your Pet and Connect with Others

Over 10,000 Vet Approved Articles Search All Articles

Red Eye in Dogs

By: Dr. Rhea Morgan

Read By: Pet Lovers
Email To A Friend Print
Red eye is a non-specific sign of inflammation or infection. It may be seen with diseases of the external eyelids, third eyelid, conjunctiva, cornea, and sclera. It may also occur with inflammation of the structures inside the eye, with glaucoma (high pressure within the eye) or with certain diseases of the orbit (eye socket). Either one or both eyes can become red, depending upon the cause of the problem.

Eyes become reddened when blood vessels of the conjunctiva (the pink lining of the eyeball and eyelids), sclera (white covering of the eye), or cornea (clear surface of the eye) become enlarged or more numerous.

What to Watch For

  • Redness of the eye or structures around the eye
  • Squinting, increased blinking, holding the eye closed
  • Pawing or rubbing at the eye
  • Possible decrease in vision or blindness
  • Possible cloudiness of the eye
  • Tearing or discharge from the eye
  • Possible systemic signs if the redness is associated with some sort of illness


    Veterinary care includes tests to diagnose the condition causing the red eye and to define subsequent treatment. Your veterinarian will do a complete medical history and physical examination to try to determine if the problem involves only the eye(s) or if other changes are present in the animal.

    A complete ophthalmic examination is required to determine the source of the redness and whether it involves inflammation of the external structures of the eye or the internal structures. Your veterinarian may refer your dog to a veterinary ophthalmologist for further evaluation using specialized instrumentation. The following tests may be performed during the eye examination:

  • Schirmer tear test to measure tear production

  • Fluorescein staining of the cornea to check for ulcers

  • Tonometry to measure the pressure within the eye

  • Examination of the interior of the eye under magnification

  • Taking scrapings of inflamed tissues (such as conjunctiva and cornea) for cytologic studies to determine the type of inflammation present

  • Examination of scrapings of the eyelids to look for parasites

  • Submission of samples for culturing bacteria and other agents

  • Biopsy of masses around the eye

    Other tests may include:

  • A complete blood count and biochemistry profile if any systemic signs are present

  • Blood testing for the tick borne rickettsial and bacterial infections, for fungal infections and parasitic conditions, if the red eye is related to inflammation of the interior of the eye

  • X-rays of the chest and abdomen if an underlying systemic illness is suspected

  • Comment & Share
    Email To A Friend Print
    Keep reading! This article has multiple pages.

    Dog Photos Enjoy hundreds of beautiful dog photos Let's Be Friends Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On twitter


    Email to a Friend

    Article to eMail
    Red Eye in Dogs

    My Pet
    Coming Soon

    Tools to Care for Your Pet and
    Connect with Others!

    Be the First to Know.
    Notify Me