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Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Neonatal Conjunctivitis

The eyes of newborn puppies open at 10 to 14 days of age. Infection behind the eyelids, called neonatal conjunctivitis, can occur before or after the eyelids separate. This form of conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria that gain access to the space behind the eyelids during or shortly after birth.

There is a condition called ankyloblepharonin which the eyelids do not open as widely as they should. This predisposes a puppy to neonatal conjunctivitis. Neonatal conjunctivitis may affect several puppies in the same litter.

Suspect this problem if the eyelids appear swollen and/or the eyelids bulge. A purulent discharge may be present if the infection occurs when the eyes are beginning to open. The discharge may cause the eyelids to stick together.

Treatment: Notify your veterinarian immediately if you suspect neonatal conjunctivitis. Delay in treatment can lead to corneal damage and blindness.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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