The eye is the most sensitive part of a dog’s body; even the tiniest dust can cause serious injury. You and your dog may have been spending a hot summer day at the park when pollen got into his eye. Or perhaps Fido was playing with other dogs when a little leaf accidentally landed in one of his eyes, causing it to become red, runny, and itchy.
As a pet owner, your mind could be racing if your dog is experiencing visual difficulties. Your first instinct could be to use a human eye drop, probably the saline solution on your dog’s eye. But are they safe and effective for dogs’ eyes?
At a glance, saline solution is safe for your dog’s eye but with precaution.
Let’s look at some of the causes, signs, treatments with saline solution, and steps you can take to help your friend’s eye.
Causes and Symptoms of Dog Eye Infection
The fact that your dog has no qualms about playing in the mud and poop or swimming in filthy water increases the probability that your dog may develop an eye infection at some point. Any of a variety of causes, such as debris in the eye, viruses, bacteria, glaucoma, allergies, or a previous eye infection, might cause or exacerbate an eye infection in your dog.
Even while “pink eye” or conjunctivitis is the most common form of canine eye infection, more severe conditions can impair the inner components of your dog’s eye. Some of the common symptoms of eye infection in dogs are as follows:
You may also notice your dog pawning his eye frequently.
Treatments for Dog Eye Infection
Depending on the severity and root cause, treatment may require pharmaceuticals like antibiotics, steroids, or natural remedies. However, cleaning your dog’s eye and the area around the eye is frequently required alongside therapy to remove discharge and promote the healing of the eye membranes.
Canine eye issues are usually treated with human eyedrops generally prescribed by the veterinarian. On the other hand, saline solutions are available over-the-counter and can be used to treat your dog’s moderate eye conditions.
However, using this solution with care and recommendation would be best. Before administering the saline solution to your dog’s eyes, it is recommended that you see your veterinarian.
So, what are saline solutions exactly? Let’s learn!
What is Saline Solution?
Saline solutions are liquid from sodium chloride (salt) and purified water. Some saline solutions are specifically formulated for canines and are readily available in pet stores, pharmacies, or online. However, any saline solution will suffice for your dog, and contact lens saline is one of the most accessible options.
Is Saline Solution Safe for Dogs?
Saline solution is the same as distilled water if it is made correctly. It has the ideal concentration of the tear components. This ensures that it is mild and risk-free for your dog.
What are the Uses of Saline Solution?
In the case of various minor eye issues, saline solutions are often the first line of treatment.
- One way to alleviate your dog’s itchy, irritated eyes caused by an allergic reaction is to rinse them with saline solution.
- A saline solution eyewash can also help eliminate floating debris like grass seeds from your dog’s eyes.
- In addition to its numerous uses, you can use saline solution to keep tears from leaving permanent stains.
- You can wash out some tears before they stain the skin surrounding your dog’s eyes by cleaning its eyes with a saline solution.
- You can also clean the eyes of dogs with saline solution.
When Should You Refrain from Using Saline Solution for Dog’s Eye?
If your dog has an ocular condition, you should never use the saline solution on her eyes, even if they are red and unpleasant. It would be best to get the veterinarian’s care for this issue.
Can Saline Solution be Made at Home?
A homemade alternative is to mix one teaspoon of salt with one pint of boiled or distilled water. Since chlorine in regular tap water might irritate dogs’ eyes, it is better to use distilled water.
How to Rinse Your Dog’s Eye with Saline Solution?
All it takes to get the saline solution into your dog’s eye is a few liberal drips, and then you may let it drain. However, to ensure your dog’s safety, you must follow these guidelines:
Step One: Wash your Hands Thoroughly
Keep in mind that you want to promote complete healing in your dog’s eyes by removing any potential sources of infection. Washing your hands before handling the dog is essential to avoid spreading germs and other toxins.
Step Two: Keep the Dog Confined
The next step is to find a secure way to confine the dog so that he won’t be disturbed while you flush his eyes with the saline solution. The most effective method is to have your assistant place one arm under the dog’s neck and keep the dog’s head over his shoulder.
Step Three: Rinsing Dog’s Eye with Saline Solution
When your dog is ready, have him open his eyes, tilt his head back slightly, and place eyedrops of saline solution in his eyes.
Step Four: Wipe with a Damp Cloth
Remove any debris or dirt from around your dog’s eyes. Grab a warm, wet cloth. Keep the fabric on the dog’s eyes for around five minutes to ease the irritation. If both eyes are infected, wash the cloth before moving on to the second eye. Simply put, clean the other eye with a clean cloth to avoid spreading germs from the previously cleaned eyes.
Tip: Because the saline is continually being wiped away by the dog’s tears, it is recommended to use saline solution multiple times daily for optimal results.
Step Five: Remove hairs Around the Eyes
You should take this step only if your dog has tear stains or long hairs around his eyes. It would help if you cut your dog’s eyelashes and eyebrows short, so any discharge from its eyes can drain without getting caught in its long hair. In addition, this can be very helpful in avoiding a recurrence of the eye infection.
Step Six: Check with Your Vet
If the problem persists after flushing with saline solution or worsens, you should take your pet to the vet to find out how serious it is.
Word of Caution
- Be cautious not to accidentally poke your dog’s eyes with the dropper or applicator.
- Ensure the dropper isn’t held directly in front of your dog’s eyes; tilt it slightly.
- You should apply the saline solution to the outer canthus or outer corner of the eye for the best results.
- You can gently open and close your dog’s eyelids to ensure that the saline solution gets to all areas of the eye.
Eye infections are a common problem for dogs because of the dirt they track into the house. Several homemade and over-the-counter eye wash remedies might be beneficial to treat an eye infection in your dog. When treating an eye infection in your dog, several homemade and over-the-counter eye wash remedies can help cleanse your dog’s eyes and surrounding area.
While some eye infections clear up after a gentle cleansing of the fluid around the affected eye, others call for installing homemade or medically prescribed medication. Therefore, if your dog is in obvious pain from an eye infection or suddenly becomes photosensitive, you should take them to the doctor immediately.