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How to Give First Aid to Your Dog

        Animals | Dog Care

How to Treat a Dog With Eye Injuries
©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 3a

Irritation of the eye in a dog can be caused by allergies, dust and dirt, lashes growing inward, fights, and more. It can result in a mild inflammation of the tissue around the eye (conjunctivitis) or severe damage to the cornea.

When examining a dog's eye, it is important to know that dogs have a third eyelid located in the corner of the eye nearest the nose. This third eyelid can completely cover the eyeball and sometimes gives the appearance that part of the eye is gone.

In addition to being a protective mechanism, the third eyelid can indicate that something is wrong with the eye. If it is raised and looks red, the eye is inflamed. Do not try to touch or manipulate this eyelid.

Other indications that a dog's eye is irritated are squinting and rubbing and pawing at the eye. Your first priority is to prevent your pet from further injuring itself since this often causes more severe damage than the original irritation. Use the following tips to treat your dog's eye injuries.

Object in the Eye

Step 1: DO NOT try to remove the object.

Step 2: Restrain the dog if necessary.

Step 2a: Approach the dog slowly, speaking in a reassuring tone of voice.

Step 3: Prevent self-injury to the eye.

Step 3a: Dewclaws (if present) should be bandaged on the front paw on the same side as the affected eye.

Step 3b: For small dogs, cut a large piece of cardboard into an Elizabethan-type collar.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 3b

Step 3c: For larger dogs, cut the bottom from a plastic bucket, fit the bucket over the dog's head, and hold it in place by tying it to the dog's collar.

Step 4: Transport the dog immediately to the veterinarian.

Scratched or Irritated Eye

The typical signs of a scratched or irritated eye include squinting; rubbing or pawing at the eyes; or thick discharge or redness in the eye.

Step 1: Restrain the dog if necessary.

Step 1a: Approach the dog slowly, speaking in a reassuring tone of voice.

Step 2: Flush the dog's eye thoroughly with saline solution or plain water.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 3c

Step 3: Prevent self-injury to the eye.

Step 3a: Dewclaws (if present) should be bandaged on the front paw on the same side as the affected eye.

Step 3b: For small dogs, cut a large piece of cardboard into an Elizabethan-type collar.

Step 3c: For larger dogs, cut the bottom from a plastic bucket, fit the bucket over the dog's head, and hold it in place by tying it to the dog's collar.

Step 4: Transport the dog immediately to the veterinarian.

A dog can be sensitive to extreme cold, especially its ears and the tip of its tail. If you suspect your pet is suffering from frostbite, take note of the first-aid tips on the next page.