Many diseases can strike a dog’s eye and have a major impact on their eyesight and their health in general. You might be surprised to know that dogs, too, can have eye allergies, just like humans. They can develop allergies at any point in their lives, and this can be due to several reasons. What is the difference between dog eye allergy and eye infection, and how can we identify them?
Causes of dog eye allergies
Things your dog is usually exposed to, on a daily basis, can be the reason behind eye allergies:
- Fabrics and materials
- Cigarette smoke
- Scents and perfumes
- Dander, feather and hair
- Dust and dust mites
- Household detergents/ cleaning products
- Medications (Flea treatment and insecticidal shampoo)
- Mold and mildew
- Tree and grass pollen
As you can see, there are so many reasons behind dog eye allergies, so it can be quiet hard to identify the exact cause. The vet can perform skin or blood tests for your dog as a first step that will help determine the cause.
The most common symptoms of dog eye allergies you’ll notice is red, itchy and watery eyes. The irritation makes your dog constantly rub their eye, resulting in an inflammation that can cause an eye infection.
Allergies vs Infections
The main difference between a dog eye allergy and infection is the reason behind it. Dogs can get allergies from environmental factors like food, fabric, pollen and fleas, whereas, infections come from viruses, fungus, bacteria or trauma to the eye. Since the symptoms are quite the same, allergies are often mistaken for an eye infection.
Treatment for dog eye allergies
Natural Saline Eye Drops
It is an easy-to-apply and a safe option to flush the allergens from the eyes at home as a first treatment. Apply the saline to the point where the fluid runs freely from the eye. Re-apply every four hours, and in case you haven’t seen any improvement after 48 hours or condition worsens, you should consult a vet immediately.
It is an over-the-counter antihistamine that is used for dogs and humans to treat allergies. However, always check with your vet before purchasing to make sure the brand is safe for your dog and won’t have potentially harmful side effects. Benadryl blocks the histamine production, reducing symptoms like itchiness and watery eyes and results can take some time, around a week or two. You can read more about Benadryl for dogs here.
Steroid Eye Drops
If there is inflammation with the eye allergy, the vet might prescribe steroid eye drops. However, it is essential to follow the instructions as directed, because long term use of steroids can lead to irreversible eye damage.
Natural eye allergy treatments
Although dog eye allergies are usually not life-threatening, the symptoms can be very uncomfortable for your dog. So, if you prefer natural treatment, CBD oil can be a good option. It works with the endocannabinoid system and influence bodily functions to relieve the symptoms and keeps it in balance. However, CBD oils can have side effects like lowered blood pressure, drowsiness and dry mouth.