Can you catch eye infection from dog?

Eye infections caused by a virus or bacteria in dogs can be spread to humans, so isolation of the affected dog is also suggested in situations where they are the only one pet in the household.

Conjunctivitis is an uncomfortable and itchy eye condition that, if left untreated, could harm your dog’s eye or eyes. Today, some of the causes, signs, and remedies for this relatively common condition in dogs are discussed by our Charlotte veterinarians.

The mucous membrane known as the “conjunctiva” that covers your dog’s eye and eyelids is susceptible to an infection known as conjunctivitis. The conjunctiva serves as the eyes’ protective barrier against infections and foreign objects. This mucous membrane is very similar to the lining of the mouth or nose. Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is a condition that occurs when this membrane becomes infected or inflamed.

Allergies, irritation from foreign objects, viral infections, tumors in the eye area, breed-specific conditions like nodular episcleritis in Collies, a lack of tear film, abnormalities of the eye, blocked tear ducts, parasitic infections, injuries to the eye, or an underlying eye condition like glaucoma, ulcerative keratitis, or anterior uveitis can all contribute to this condition in dogs.

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Conjunctivitis, which is characterized by swollen and runny eyes in dogs, may be present in your pet. If that sounds alarming, dont panic. The likelihood that your dog has contracted this condition, also known as “pink eye,” is actually quite low. Continue reading to learn more about canine conjunctivitis, including its causes and what you can do to assist your pet.

Does My Dog Have an Eye Infection?

Many of the symptoms of eye infections in humans and dogs are similar, and your dog may exhibit additional symptoms because dogs’ eyes are anatomically different from humans’. Dogs have a nictitating membrane, a third eyelid that can be closed to protect their eye but still allows them to see. This was very useful for a predator who was on the hunt or being hunted and needed to see while also shielding their eye from debris. This nictitating membrane and related structures may become inflamed in dogs’ eye membranes. Otherwise, both species exhibit fairly similar signs of eye infection, such as:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Swelling
  • Itching and irritation of the eye
  • Clear, opaque or purulent discharge
  • Sensitivity to light, frequent blinking and squinting
  • Pawing at eye to relieve irritation
  • In addition to sharing symptoms, dogs and humans both experience eye infections for the same reasons. There are a variety of causes for eye infection including:

  • Bacteria such as streptococcus or staphylococcus
  • Viruses
  • Foreign materials or irritating substances in the eye
  • Dry eye making your dog susceptible to bacterial or viral infection
  • Injury or scratch resulting in bacterial contamination
  • Structural abnormalities in the lid or tear duct making bacterial infection more likely
  • Fungal or parasitic infection
  • Lyme disease bacteria
  • The most prevalent eye infection in dogs is conjunctivitis, which involves inflammation of the conjunctiva eye tissue, which is the thin mucous lining of the eye and eyelids. Conjunctivitis is typically brought on by bacteria or viruses. Infected corneal lining in your dog’s eye causes keratitis, also known as a corneal infection. Untreated, it may lead to an eye ulcer and eye globe rupture, necessitating removal of the eye. Uveitis is inflammation of the inner eye structures. If an eye infection is not treated, the eye may suffer permanent harm.

    To rule out other eye conditions that might be causing your dog’s redness in the eye, such as allergies, glaucoma, or cherry eye, which is an inflammation or prolapse of the third eyelid in dogs, your veterinarian will first examine your dog’s eye. To find out if there are any bacteria in the discharge, a culture can be taken. The majority of eye infections are diagnosed based on the symptoms that are present. If there is a thick, unpleasant discharge, a bacterial infection is identified and treated as necessary.

    More details on canine eye infections can be found in the guides below:

    Not All Eye Problems In Dogs Are Infections

    Your dog may occasionally exhibit symptoms of an eye infection while actually suffering from another kind of eye issue.

    Glaucoma, tear duct issues or eye defects, dry eye, vitamin deficiency, exposure to or ingestion of toxins, tumors, cherry eye, or structural issues with the eye itself, such as entropion, are some eye conditions in dogs that pet owners frequently mistake for infections.

    These eye conditions can be painful, like infections, and demand prompt veterinary care.


    Can humans get conjunctivitis from dogs?

    Fortunately, there is a very low probability that humans will contract conjunctivitis from their dogs. Your dog won’t transmit allergic conjunctivitis caused by irritants and allergens to you or other dogs/pets they come in contact with.

    Is bacterial conjunctivitis in dogs contagious to humans?

    Additionally, although it is extremely rare, some types of canine conjunctivitis (typically bacterial) have the potential to be transmitted to humans. Anyone handling an infected dog should wash their hands thoroughly to avoid spreading the infection to other animals or to themselves.

    Can a dog’s eye infection spread to the other eye?

    While allergies, viral infections, or other conditions can cause conjunctivitis, it frequently begins in one eye and quickly spreads to the other through contamination. However, in some cases, both eyes may be affected from the beginning.

    Can pets cause eye infection?

    Pets can cause eye discomfort directly and indirectly. Typically, the immune system defends the body against pathogens like viruses and bacteria. Pets can irritate the eyes by carrying allergens such as dander, pollen, urine, and saliva.