Bloodshot Eye in Dogs and Cats


This easy-to-spy issue prevails in both felines and dogs and can be caused by an injury, an irritation and even a disease. Despite the cause, your family pet’s eye may look roughly the same: Some or all the structures surrounding the eye will be red and/or visibly swollen, a condition typically known as conjunctivitis.

Additional signs related to conjunctivitis include clear, grayish, whitish, greenish or perhaps reddish discharge; red and swollen eyelids; cloudiness of the cornea (the clear covering of the eye, which may appear bluish or hazy); inflammation of the whites of the eyes, rubbing or pawing of the eyes to alleviate itching; and repetitive blinking, squinting or closing of the eyes, which usually suggests pain. Take unique note of these symptoms, since they can help a vet identify the cause for eye inflammation and inflammation.

Causes of Red and Irritated Eyes in Dogs and Cats

When a dog or cat goes to the veterinarian with bloodshot eyes, here are a few of the normal causes:

Trauma: Nothing creates inflammation and inflammation as rapidly as a poke to the eye by a branch or some other foreign object. Even if the eye itself is unharmed, the surrounding tissues can become inflamed.

Environmental irritants: Cigarette smoke, dirt, dust and other irritants can cause periocular inflammation in cats and dogs.

Bacterial conjunctivitis: This is fairly unusual as the primary cause of conjunctivitis in dogs and felines, but it can happen. Regularly, bacterial conjunctivitis occurs when the eyes are already swollen from another condition, like dry eye or viral conjunctivitis.

red eye in dogs

Red eye in dogs

Viral conjunctivitis: This type of conjunctivitis is especially common in pets identified with canine distemper, FIV (feline immunodeficiency infection), FeLV (feline leukemia infection) or one of the feline breathing infections (like feline herpesvirus).

Corneal disease: Diseases of the cornea– the clear covering of the eyeball– can result in corneal inflammation, along with periocular swelling.

Other Eye Diseases: Although corneal problems are the more typical culprits of eye redness and swelling, other eye diseases can produce comparable symptoms, including glaucoma.

Skin diseases: Mange mite infestation, painful or annoying cancers, and other skin conditions that take place around the eyes can cause rubbing, itching, swelling and other problems in the eye area.

Systemic illness: Some systemic illnesses (conditions that impact the entire body) like leptospirosis and Rocky Mountain identified fever can cause conjunctivitis.

What Your Veterinarian Will Do

Here are some of the important things your vet might do if your pet has red or inflamed eyes.

Step 1. Take a history. A lot of vets will start by asking a few basic questions to help them understand the history of the issue. When did you first discover the soreness and inflammation? Has it changed? How has your family pet been acting? What medications have you used? (If your pet has taken any type of medication, bring it with you.).

Step 2: Do a physical examination. Analyzing the entire body, not simply the eyes, is an important part of the process.

Step 3: Do an ophthalmic evaluation. An ocular evaluation of all noticeable internal and external eye structures is vital. A test to figure out eye dryness (Schirmer tear test) and/or a corneal stain to identify the presence of possible disintegrations or ulcers may be in order. Depending upon the veterinarian’s skill set and available equipment, you might have to schedule a follow-up go to with a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Step 4: Do a dermatologic examination. Your vet may also look for the existence of skin sores, which might indicate trauma, cancer or other disease.

Step 5: Order laboratory tests. A blood and urine test may be useful. Aside from a fundamental urinalysis and a CBC and chemistry panel, your veterinarian may order other specific tests to assist identify particular diseases, such as FIV, FeLV and canine distemper.

Treatment for Bloodshot Eyes in Dogs or Cats

Depending upon the underlying cause, treatment can range from a topical anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medication, to lubing non-prescription eye drops to surgery and long-term eye medication.

What You Can Do at Home

Any pet who experiences red and inflamed eyes ought to check out a veterinarian as quickly as possible, but if you can’t arrange an instant consultation, there are some measures you can take to keep your pet comfortable in the meantime.

Avoid pawing and scratching: To keep animals from more exacerbating the inflammation, purchase a soft E-collar or attempt to place socks on their feet.

Clean the area: Excessive discharge can be cleaned with warm water and a tissue, however aim to prevent in fact touching the surface area of the eye. A cool compress with a moist cloth can likewise be relaxing. Never ever put any medication into the eyes unless directed by your veterinarian.

Monitor symptoms: If your family pet shows other unusual symptoms, such as fever, bad appetite and lethargy, moving towards your vet or an animal medical facility right away. And understand that eye pain– the key signs are frequent blinking or closing of the eyes, aggressive rubbing or pawing– indicates your animal needs emergency care.



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