Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye or red eye, is as common in dogs as it is in humans. It’s an itchy inflammation of the tissue that coats the eye and the lining of the eyelids, called the conjunctiva.

Conjunctivitis can happen at any age, by itself or because of another eye problem.

While just one eye is typically affected, conjunctivitis can spread to both.


  • Redness
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Stringy discharge
  • Watery eyes
  • Pawing at his eyes
  • Squinting
  • Eyelids that stick together

At the first sign of these symptoms, it’s best to take your dog to the vet. He can tell what type of conjunctivitis you’re dealing with and how to treat it. Plus, your dog may have a more serious condition that could cause blindness if left untreated. It’s important that you don’t try to treat an undiagnosed eye condition yourself, as medication for one condition may aggravate another.

Common Types

WebMD Veterinary Reference Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on November 07, 2016



Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine: “General Ophthalmic Conditions.”

CDC: “Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye).”

Medline Plus: “Allergic Conjunctivitis.”

K9 Wellbeing: “Dog Conjunctivitis.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Allergic Conjunctivitis.”

American Optometric Association: “Conjunctivitis.”

International Guide Dog Federation: “Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye).”

© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.