Other Infections

Eye Infections in Cats and Dogs

Dog Getting Eyes Checked

Conjunctivitis in Dogs and Cats1,2

This is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the membrane lining your pet’s eyeballs and eyelids. Conjunctivitis can be caused by an infection from bacteria, a virus, or fungus. Conjunctivitis can also be caused by allergies, tumors and other non-infectious conditions.

Some common symptoms include1,2:

  • Watering or tearing from one or both eyes
  • Discharge (cloudy, or yellow-greenish)

Treatment includes antibiotic or anti-inflammatory drops or ointments, as well as injections or pills.

If your cat is prone to eye infections, you can also consider vaccinating against feline chlamydia to prevent another infection. Ask your veterinarian about the Nobivac® 1-year vaccination that can protect your cat from this type of eye infection.

Conjunctivitis in Puppies3

Young dogs can get conjunctivitis when their eyelids first separate, at about 2 weeks of age. Infection usually is caused by discharge from the mother at birth, but can also be caused from surroundings that have not been cleaned well enough.

Topical antibiotic ointments are typically used for treatment.

Dry Eye in Dogs4

"Dry eye" is the commonly-used name for keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). This occurs when over-drying of the cornea and surrounding tissues causes inflammation. Dry eye can be caused by a number of things:

  • Diseases that damage tear-producing glands
  • Infection with canine distemper virus or feline herpes virus
  • Certain medications
  • Hypothyroidism

Some of the breeds that are more likely to develop dry eye include:

  • Spaniels
  • Terriers
  • Pugs
  • Bloodhounds

Dry eye treatments protect your pet's cornea by increasing tear production and replacing the tear film. Commonly-used medications to treat dry eye include cyclosporine, found in Optimmune® (cyclosporine), and tacrolimus.

Uveitis in Cats5

Uveitis is a condition in which the inner pigmented part of your cat's eye becomes inflamed. It is painful, and can lead to blindness.

Cats can get uveitis from an array of diseases, including feline leukemia, herpes virus, fungal infections, and from roundworm and hookworm larvae.

Some common signs to look out for include:

  • Watering or tearing from the affected eye
  • Cloudiness of cornea
  • Redness on the surface of your cat’s eye
  • Small pupil
  • Soft-feeling eyeball when eyelid is pushed on gently

To treat uveitis, your veterinarian will treat the condition that caused it. Eyedrops can also be used to reduce your cat’s pain.


  1. VCA Animal Hospitals. Conjunctivitis in dogs. http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/conjunctivitis-in-dogs/540. Accessed April 17, 2014.
  2. VCA Animal Hospitals. Conjunctivitis in cats. http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/conjunctivitis-in-cats/75. Accessed April 17, 2014.
  3. PetMD. Eye infection in newborn dogs. http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/eyes/c_multi_ophthalmia_neonatorium. Accessed April 17, 2014.
  4. VCA Animal Hospitals. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or dry eye in dogs. http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/keratoconjunctivitis-sicca-kcs-or-dry-eye-in-dogs/825. Accessed April 17, 2014.
  5. Pets WebMD. Eye infections (uveitis) in cats. http://pets.webmd.com/cats/cat-eye-infections-uveitis. Accessed April 17, 2014.