How to Treat Canine Eye Irritation

How to Treat Canine Eye Irritation

Recently, my little Chihuahua friend, Pargo, developed a bit of discharge in his right eye only.

It wasn’t profuse and he didn’t seem to be in any discomfort. He likes to stick his little head out the window while driving and runs around in the tall grasses growing fast in our San Diego Spring landscape and being a Chihuahua, with his prominent eyes, it’s likely that Pargo’s eye was just trying to flush itself out.

I grabbed my homeopathic sterile buffered eye drops and kept an “eye” on him to see if the discharge continued. After a day, it stopped, but it had me thinking —has this ever happened to your dog?

If so, here are some suggestions and tips I found that may be of help to others who encounter a minor eye irritation or discharge in their doggie companions:

Tips to Treat Canine Eye Irritation

If your dog is otherwise healthy, showing no other symptoms, and behaving normally in spite of the discharge, try to clean the eye and flush it with a sterile saline solution. Closely observe your dog and the eye condition in a day or two to see if there is any improvement. If not, visit the vet.

If you notice any abnormal eye discharge in your dog, put on a pair of clean rubber gloves and examine your dog’s eyes and take note of the color of the discharge and check for any injury or mass near the eyes.

If, on the other hand, your dog is bothered by the discharge (e.g. he is rubbing and scratching his eye repeatedly), or if you can see injury in or near the eye, get your dog to the vet immediately.

At-Home, Dog-Safe Eye Wash Solution

Dr. Richard Pitcairn, DVM recommends for minor eye irritations, the following eye wash solution:

  • Add a level ¼ teaspoon of sea salt to 1 cup of pure water and stir.

  • Keep at room temperature; pour a small amount into a cup or dish.

  • Apply by dripping from a saturated cotton ball into the eye or by using a glass or plastic dropper. Apply until it runs out of the eye to flush out any irritating substances.

  • For more serious irritation, use 1 cup of this saline solution but add 5 drops only of tincture (or alcohol extract) of Euphrasia officinalis or eyebright. You can use this 4x per day.

Other Veterinarian-Recommended Eye Wash Solutions

Dr. Barbara Fougère recommends the following Herbal Eye Wash options for irritated eyes, mild conjunctivitis or mild discomfort: “Bathe the eyes with one of the following. If irritation or condition worsens, discontinue use of the eye wash and contact your vet.”

  • Calendula tea
  • Chamomile tea
  • Eyebright tea
  • Salt water: 1 teaspoon in 1 cup of water
  • Rosemary tea

Jan Allegretti & Katy Somers, DVM suggest considering the following homeopathic remedies:

  • Aconite
  • Belladonna
  • Conium
  • Euphrasia
  • Silicea
Keep watch of the condition and if symptoms persist or worsen after flushing over a period of 48 hours, seek your veterinarian’s advice.

Lucy Postins

Lucy Postins is founder and Chief Integrity Officer at The Honest Kitchen. She is a companion animal nutritionist who started The Honest Kitchen in her kitchen in 2002. She is passionate about advanced nutrition and holistic health including complementary modalities such as herbalism and homeopathy. Considered an expert in her field, Lucy frequently writes articles for local and national media, conducts radio interviews and educational spots, and occasionally holds educational seminars for pet owners on the importance of good nutrition. She also recently authored Dog Obsessed, a guide to a happier, healthier life for the pup you love.
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