Eye Problems and Symptoms in Dogs (cont.)

How to Apply Eye Medicines

Place ointments into the space behind the lower eyelid (the conjunctival sac). Drops can be applied directly to the eyeball.

To apply ointment, steady your dog's head with one hand and draw down on the lower eyelid with your thumb to expose the conjunctival sac. Rest the hand containing the applicator against the dog's forehead, as shown in the photos on this page. This way, if the dog jerks his head your hand will move with it, preventing the applicator from poking the eye. Slowly squeeze out a ribbon of ointment. Then gently close the eyelids, massaging a bit to spread the ointment over the entire eyeball.

To instill drops, steady the hand holding the dropper against the side of the dog's head. Tilt the dog's muzzle up; then drop the medication into the eye. Eye drops tend to wash out with tears and must be applied several times a day.

Only use drops and ointments that are specifically labeled for ophthalmic use. Be sure to check the expiration date on the product's label. Note that prolonged administration of antibiotics in the eye may lead to resistant infections. Your veterinarian may recommend flushing or cleaning the eye with artificial tears before putting in a new dose of medication.

This article is excerpted from “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” with permission from Wiley Publishing, Inc.