Can Dogs Get Pinkeye ?

Can dogs get pinkeye ?

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Pink eye or conjunctivitis, is an infection of the conjunctiva, It is the most common type of dog eye infection. Dogs usually experience this condition in one eye but may contract it in both.

While it’s fairly easy to treat, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms so you can get this checked out quickly and be sure it isn’t a sign of something more serious. So can dogs get pinkeye?

How Do Dogs Get Pink Eye?

You’re probably wondering, how do dogs get pink eye, Well, there are different types: bacterial and viral infections are the most common.


Viral conjunctivitis


Any dog may develop conjunctivitis if they encounter viruses that cause inflammation in the eye membranes such as canine distemper. These viruses are usually contagious and can take 3 to 4 weeks to fully recover.


Can dogs get pinkeye ?

Bacterial conjunctivitis


This is also quite contagious and can be caused by bacteria such as staphylococcus or streptococcus. This can take five to seven days to recover from. 

Allergic conjunctivitis

This type isn’t contagious as it’s caused by an allergic reaction. This can include mites, dust, and pollen. This will continue until you discover the underlying allergen. 

Any dog can get conjunctivitis but certain dog breeds are more prone to develop it like pugspoodles, and Pekingese. 

The symptoms are often the same or very similar despite the cause. This is why it’s important to see your vet.

You can easily spot the symptoms of dog pink eye as they are very similar, Common symptoms of dog conjunctivitis, include: 

  • Redness and swelling of the eyes
  • Watery or mucous discharge from the eyes
  • Frequent blinking
  • Pawing or rubbing of eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Abnormal squinting
  • Excessive discharge from the nose
  • Coughing

Check the color of the discharge coming from their eyes. If it’s green or yellow then it’s probably a bacterial infection. If it’s clear discharge is more likely to be caused by allergies. 

How Is Pink Eye in Dogs Diagnosed?

Can dogs get pinkeye ?

If your dog’s pink eye is a secondary symptom of a condition such as dry eye or a tumor, treating the pink eye itself will not resolve the problem.

Your veterinarian will probably perform a detailed examination of your dog’s eyes, eyelids, and surrounding structures using an ophthalmic examination.  

The ophthalmic examination consists of: 

  • A full examination of the surrounding eye structures, including the eyelids, eyelashes, third eyelids, and tear ducts. 
  • Tear production testing. 
  • Corneal stain testing (Fluorescein stain testing), is a test used to check the outer layer of the eye, for any damage such as scrapes and cuts. A yellowish stain is put on the eye, and a special light in a dark room is used to show any underlying damage. 
  • Intraocular pressure testing measures the pressure in both eyes, which helps diagnose glaucoma and uveitis.  

Additional testing such as bacterial culture and sensitivity, conjunctival scraping or biopsy, allergy testing, viral testing, and ultrasound of the eyeball are performed when needed. 

Treatment of Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Treatment depends on the cause of the conjunctivitis.

Allergic conjunctivitis is treated with eye drops or ointments containing steroids or oral steroids and antihistamines are also recommended if there is an inflammation. In the case of Allergic conjunctivitis, Prevention is most the important thing, so you must avoid the underlying allergens affecting your dog.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is often treated with topical antibiotics, though sometimes oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications may also be used depending on the condition.

Viral conjunctivitis is often treated with time and oral antioxidants to boost the immune system.

How to Prevent Pink Eye

Every dog owner’s goal is to keep their pet healthy. These tips may help prevent your dog from contracting an eye infection:


Bacterial conjunctivitis can be tough to prevent since we can’t see the bacteria in our environment. But, keeping your pet’s sleep and play areas sterile can kill the bacteria.


The virus that causes pink eye can be pretty tricky to prevent. However, it is always good to try giving your dog’s immune system a boost with a vitamin-packed diet and lots of exercise. 


If your dog has allergies, keeping your home free of dust, dander, and mold can help prevent a reaction. Your vet can prescribe medications to stop flare-ups in their tracks as well.

Though we can’t always keep debris and irritants from getting in our pets’ eyes when they play, making sure the fur around their eyes is well-groomed can help. This will prevent little hairs from poking the inside of their eyes. It will also make it more difficult for dust, dirt, and other aggravating particles to get into their eyes.

Can Dogs Get Pinkeye ? FAQs

Yes, Conjunctivitis in dogs is often very contagious if viral or bacterial. unless your dog is fully vaccinated, then viral transmission is less likely. Viral conjunctivitis is not contagious to humans. Always check with your veterinarian to discuss what vaccines are recommended for your dog.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is rare in dogs, but it would definitely spread to humans by direct contact. Remember to always wash your hands after touching your dog.

Some forms of canine conjunctivitis can resolve on their own in dogs with otherwise healthy immune systems, but dogs usually require therapy to avoid chronic changes to the eyes and full recovery.

If left untreated, inflammation will eventually affect the outer layer of the eye, causing scarring, and chronic pain. this can set up your dog for lifelong chronic infections.

The duration of clinical signs depends on the underlying cause. With appropriate treatment, Viral conjunctivitis can take up to 3 to 4 weeks for full recovery. bacterial conjunctivitis is usually resolved within 5 to 7 days.

Allergic conjunctivitis will persist until the underlying allergen is discovered and eliminated. Chronic dry eye and immune-mediated conditions are often lifelong and require constant therapy.

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