Eye Infections In Pets – How To Deal Properly With This Common Health Problem
Eye infections in pets are quite common and the problem is usually easy to detect. In most cases the eyelids are swollen and you may see a discharge coming from the eye that can vary in appearance from watery and clear to thick, yellow or green colored.
Infected eyes can become painful and itchy and pets try to rub the area around the eyes with their paws or on furniture or carpets.
If you see that only the one eye is affected then the cause could be an embedded foreign object such as a grass seed. It may also be due to a scratch from a branch or stick, or even a fight with another animal. However, if both eyes are affected the cause is very likely a viral infection.
Eye infections are usually straight forward to deal with, but you need to make sure that your vet examines your pet and its eyes ideally the same day you notice the problem. The sooner your pet is treated properly the more likely you are to avoid complications that could cause impaired vision, blindness or even the loss of a whole eye.
How to Care for Your Pet's Infected Eyes
The best and safest way to care for your pet's infected eyes is to ask someone to help you restrain him gently and firmly while you wipe away any ocular discharge or apply prescribed eye drops. Ocular problems are always painful and your pet will feel very uncomfortable. In this condition, restraining your pet by grabbing the scruff will increase the pressure of the inner eye, which will in turn increase the pain and could potentially cause structural damage within the eyes. This is why it is better to have assistance.
You can use a towel wrap for smaller dogs, cats and rabbits, so that only the head looks out. This way your assistant can hold the muzzle or head steady. Larger dogs should sit with the back towards your assistant's chest and with the assistant's legs securing the animal on either side. This will allow your pet to be held by wrapping one arm around the chest with the other hand on the muzzle.
If there is any discharge around the eyes, you need to clean it off properly. The best way to do this is to wash it away with clean warm water. If it has dried on and a crust has built up, you can soften the crusty parts by holding a warm, clean, moist cloth over the eyelids, which will loose the crusty parts so that you are able to wipe it clean.
You can flush the eye with a special eye flushing solution for pets, which you can buy from your veterinary clinic. Do not use chamomile tea or other herbal teas to wash out the surface of the eye itself, because they contain minuscule plant particles that will cause even more irritation and worsen the pain.
With your thumb and forefinger you can hold the eyelids apart and use a dropper to administrator the solution gently onto the surface of the eye itself. Bathing the eye like this will wash out and clear it from irritating debris and reduce pain.
After you have flushed the eyes, wait a few minutes and then apply any medication (usually eye drops) you got from your vet. Only apply one drop per eye. This is sufficient, because an eye can not absorb much more than that. You may have to repeat this procedure a few times per day, depending on your vet's advice.
Eye infections usually take between 10 and 14 days to heal – sometimes it will take longer. Repeat the above described daily eye cleansing and medication regularly. Usually your vet will ask you to bring your pet in for a follow-up to assess progress and whether or not the treatment needs to be adjusted.
Treating your pet's eye infection properly and following the advice of your vet will usually help to overcome this health problem in a short time.
Source by LG Novak