There are many possible reasons for a dog’s eye(s) to become red and swollen, a condition known as conjunctivitis. Allergies and injuries, such as from debris trapped in the eye, are the most common causes. Other possibilities include glaucoma, bacterial infection, canine distemper virus infection, obstruction of the nasolacrimal duct (the tube that allows fluid from the eye to drain out of the nose), and a condition known as kerato-conjunctivitis sicca (KCS), or dry eye, in which the glands that moisten the eye no longer function properly.
First, gently clean your dog’s lids and lashes with a moistened cloth. Observe the surface of the eye for evidence of an injury or foreign body, such as a bit of grass, hair, or dirt. You can rinse the eye with ophthalmic saline, found in a drug store. If these measures do not quickly relieve the inflammation, contact your veterinarian. Don’t delay. Even minor eye injuries or illnesses can quickly esca-late into sight-threatening disorders.