To say that dogs are susceptible to eye infections is an understatement. When they’ve got their entire face lodged in a hole in the ground several times a day, the possibility for a dog eye infection is about as likely as grass growing in the summer.
Eye infections are not much cause for worry, but they can be a bit of a nuisance. A dog that paws at his eyes or scratches it against surfaces can make the infection worsen. Sometimes there may be no symptoms of a dog eye infection at all. But once you’ve diagnosed the infection, there are things you can do at home to alleviate the discomfort and get your dogs head back in a hole in no time.
The most common causes for eye infections come from bacteria that get in and around the eye. Other causes can be viruses, trauma or allergic reactions to various items in the environment. Regardless of the reason your dog has an eye infection, home remedies can be a catch-all solution when they have started to exhibit the symptoms of an eye infection.
Natural remedies are great way to get cost effective relief for your dog. They don’t take much time to prepare and they have a history of being effective. These remedies are non-harmful to your dog, provided that they are not allergic to any of the ingredients.
This solution is so popular it is used all over the world to alleviate different medical problems, and it can do wonders for your pooch too. Gently splash some of this solution onto your dog’s eye before you start to wipe. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and use a cotton ball to wipe away any discharge or debris you see.
Is there anything it can’t do? Well, here’s another one to add to the list. Prepare a mug of tea and let it steep for a few minutes. After it has cooled enough to be only warm to the touch, remove the tea bag. You can use the tea bag directly on your dog’s eye to reduce the infection. You can use this method a few times a day until the infection has died off.
Vitamin A, C and bioflavinoids can improve the recovery time from an infection. You can find these supplements at pet food stores. These supplements also have properties that can boost your dog’s immune system and prevent the potential for a further outbreak of an eye infection. As a general rule, choose a supplement that has a low number of ingredient names, and make sure those ingredient names are pronounceable. This will ensure that your dog is not ingesting anything that might give them an adverse reaction.
In a cup you can add 10 drops of red clover, chamomile, St. John’s wort, eyebright or calendula. Add one cup of distilled or filtered water and 1 tsp of salt. Use this solution to rinse out the dog’s eye with an eyedropper 2-3 times a day. This will help reduce the irritation and inflammation of the dog eye infection, promoting a better healing process.
A Note on Home Remedies
These home remedies are not guaranteed to work for your pooch. The ingredients themselves are natural and are not likely to produce any negative effects, but if your dog is allergic to any of these items you may see a reaction. Try testing everything you plan on giving your dog on a small patch of skin before you apply it to a place like their eye.
Some infections may have gone past the point of home remedies and may need medical attention. If there is yellow pus or blood oozing from the eye you may consider a trip to the vet. A dog that is lethargic or lacks an appetite, can’t open their eye or has contracted the infection from any type of trauma should probably take a trip to the vet, as well.
If you notice that any of these remedies are ineffective and no difference is noticed within a few days, you’ll want to get advice from a vet on the next steps.
Chris Onyett is a designer and a passionate writer on promoting dog health. He created the Dog Help Network after an experience with his own dog, Kupo. He learned that doing proper research and learning from others’ experiences can be just as important as taking a veterinarian’s advice. Connect with Chris on Google+.