?Can dogs get pink eye?

We humans aren’t the only ones who face the wrath of pink eye. Our lovable furry friends, our dogs, can also fall prey to this terrifying condition. We know how much you love your pup, and that’s why we are here today to explain in detail whether or not they can get pink eye.

What Is Pink Eye And How Does It Affect Humans?

Before we dive into the main topic let us first understand what exactly pink eye is and how it affects humans –

Pink eye, medically known as conjunctivitis, is an inflammatory infection of an outer layer of a human’s eye. The condition results from allergies or infections borne out of viral or bacterial agents after being exposed through airborne droplets. People affected usually present redness on their eyes along with itchiness and discharge.

Yes we know all that sounds terrible but don’t worry – pink eye for dogs might be similar but different at the same time.

Canine Conjunctivitis

Canine Conjunctivitis (CC) is commonly defined by inflammation in either one or two lenses’ surfaces due to allergic conditions’ results that include contact irritations caused by certain elements such as dust mites, pollen grains in flowers/shrubs/trees etc., fungal infections among others.

Much like its human counterpart cats & other animals may develop CC if they are kept in close proximity environments characterised by poor hygiene levels ,sharing bedding items like blankets,rugs,sheets etc.as well as collars/harnesses without regular cleaning rituals.Now back to man’s best friend:

So emm…Wait? Do Dogs have Eyes?!

Of course they do! But then again there was no need for us to line through things :grin:. Unlike expected though some breeds never show brown/black/dark coloured irises;albinos,golden retrievers whose coats stretch to include yellow hues among others may have blue eyes which can be more susceptible to certain infections.

So Can Dogs Get Pink Eye?

Yes they can! Dogs are also susceptible to pink eye just as humans, resulting from bacterial infection; normally . However, the pinkish colour in their eyes’ bloodshot appearance might not always imply conjunctivitis though. Other causes could stem from:

Environmental stimuli

  • Allergens such as pollen or dust
  • Smoke and other irritants
  • Factitious (artificial) materials like fiberglass & other foreign bodies.
  • Random thought: One time I saw a dog with sunglasses on – imagine if that was causing the allergic reaction?


This is usually caused by various organisms like bacteria, viruses,and fungal agents:


Bacterial infections frequently cause redness irritation and discharge of pus or mucus-like mass from affected dogs’ anuses depending on severity levels.R.S taxonomical groups responsible for that include Burkholderia pseudomallei & Corynebacterium diphtheriae(inserts a puzzled face).It should however be noted that zoonotic strains of e.g Streptococcus canis,Borrelia burgdorferi etc exist-& it’s important to seek medical attention especially during pandemics.


Viruses lack cell walls thus adopting different stratagems which make them really elusive without proper diagnosis.As many virus outbreaks continue altering our lives it’s important to realize how much our furry friends suffer due respiratory symptoms caused by infectious disease.That’d explain why vaccines administered against distemper,tetanus,rabies et al must be regularly updated esp for vaccinations within kennels/animal farms at risk of aggressive outbreak patterns(Viral Conjunctivitis,Mucosal Disease Syndrome)

Fungal Agents

Fungi are everywhere & so do range from benign species while manifesting hyper sensitivity pathways in animal models capable of inducing zoonosis during pandemics. Typically seen species that illicit CC include Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis amongst others.


  • Scratches or rolling on contact with rough and hard objects.
  • The bug eyed physical manifestation tends to be instantaneously evident upon injury;and calling a vet immediately would go a long way in mitigating the terrors of opthalmic surgeries due to man’s procrastination habits(check out this comprehensive Opto study though!).

What Are Some Symptoms To Look Out For?

The pink eye symptoms are mostly different for dogs and humans:

  • Dogs will present redness as well as puffiness;
  • Yellow discharge from their eyes might also result
  • Itching causing them to rub their eyes against carpets or concrete floors resulting in intense itchiness after rubbing(a strange observation though)
  • Random thought: Have you ever wondered if scratching an itch is pleasurable or painful?

How Is Pink Eye Diagnosed In Dogs?

A thorough examination by your veterinarian expert should help get a better understanding… oh wait! We’re not supposed make any reference to sourcing even when we know everything is best handled under their expert care.

Anyway they may carry out these investigations & tests towards arriving at diagnosis!

Physical exam

Your pet professional will carefully examine your dog’s offending eye(s) thoroughly while paying attention for other indications which could assist cure selection protocols;

Medical History Assessment

This involves enquiring about previous health conditions noted , recent environmental exposures/reactions/changes e.g introduction of new flora faunas among others.They shall ask probing questions concerning duration since first signs of discomfort,dietary changes,behavioural modifications observed etc ..

An Acid Reflux Extravaganza?

When performing some ophthalmoscopy techniques involving fluorescein sodium dye instillation,optomologists are required to rule out other conditions that can present with similar symptoms. These include:
– Dry Eye
– Epiphora(excessive watering of eyes)
– Keratitis (inflamed cornea tissue notably seen in bulldog breeds)

Treatment for Pink Eye in Dogs

Just like the human pink eye treatment methods, treatment for dog’s conjunctivitis may vary depending on severity levels. Mild cases might only require a few drops or ointments whereas severe cases such as those resulting from fungal infections;require more intensive medical therapy options such as oral medications and surgery:


Your pharmacist will recommend medication primarily based on bacterial/viral/fungal infection agents suspected after your examination visits.Here are some prescribed over-the-counter(O.T.C) drugs you’ll find at veterinary offices:
– Antibiotics especially effective against gram positive /negative strains;
– Topical antifungals betamethasone creams/ointments containing clotrimazole;

Although to achieve better results these should be strictly administered under professional guidance.


Vet specialists treating particularly infected tissues around the canine eye socket may necessitate surgical interventions.The fact is that most ocular induced accidents occur due to minor proactiveness once sights of initial irritation become increasingly evident amidtime(s),let an expert directly look into presenting indicators if unsure rather than taking chances!

Preventing Pink Eye Among Dogs

The best way to keep your furry friend safe from all these illnesses including CC would involve instilling good husbandry practices and keeping track of environmental factors among others ,always check quality materials & local weather patterns before letting them outside.Also avoid smoke carrying areas where exposure could have detrimental effects upon dogs that lack pores through which they sweat off harmful substances :-p .

Take care of your pets, ensuring proper hygiene by continually cleaning their bedding, collars/harnesses/tape measures,and accessories.You don’t want scratching botches interrupting a perfectly normal day now do you?


After thorough interrogation we’ve established that ‘dog pink eye’ isn’t just a myth but a real condition to reckon with – and potentially fatal if not attended to. It has even been suggested by some experts that it’s much easier for dogs or cats living in overcrowded spaces e.g kennels or breeding farms to easily fall prey, due the high degree of virulent agents present at these sites as well as toxic irritants such as ammoniac from dog feces/stale urine.

Always keep your pup’s eyes clean and ensure annual checkups for early stage detection ;it goes without saying after adoption procedures quarantine requirements ought to be followed.Any history of a previous infection causing conjunctivitis could become problematic over time, leading towards re-infection in future .So stay safe ,stay healthy & give your pets an extra treat today 😛

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