Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Eye Infections in Dogs, Cats – Natural, Herbal Treatments, Remedies

In this article
  1. Typical Causes of an Eye Infection
  2. Typical Signs that Your Dog's or Cat's Eye May Be Infected
  3. Typical Signs of Pink Eye - Conjunctivitis
  4. Contagiousness of Eye Infections
  5. Treating and Curing Eye Infections
    1. Topical Treatments
    1. Dietary Support for Eye Health
  6. Duration of Treatment
  7. When To Get Your Dog or Cat to A Practitioner

1.0 Some Typical Causes of an Eye Infection
  • Allergies (i.e. food allergies, environmental allergies)
  • Bacteria
  • Debris - foreign object in the eye – i.e. particles of grass, dirt, etc.
  • Debris and /or irritation can occur very simply
  • Dog puts his head out a vehicle window when the vehicle is in motion
  • Running through tall grasses – a small particle of grass seed may get into a dog’s or cat’s eye
  • Sand and dirt whipped up and airborne by a strong wind
  • Sticking his head into an animal burrow/hole, etc.
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Toxins in the diet and health regimen
  • Viruses
  • Underlying health issues and conditions

2.0 Typical Signs that Your Dog's or Cat's
       Eye May Be Infected  
  • Thick mucus-like discharge from the inner corner of the eye – color of the discharge often has a slight green tinge
  • Inflammation – redness of the eye
  • Dog or cat may try to rub his/her eye frequently with his/her paw, or against the ground, furniture etc.
  • Squinting
  • Cloudiness of the eye
  • Inability to open the eye partially or completely

3.0 Typical Signs of Pink Eye also known  
      as Conjunctivitis

Pink eye/Conjunctivitis is a little different than other types of eye infections. Symptoms of pink eye include:
  • Severe itching of the entire eye area
  • Pronounced pink coloration of the dog's eye area
  • Your dog's eye may be severely bloodshot
  • Surrounding eye tissue including the eye-lid will be inflamed
  • Dogs with pink eye will often try to use their paw to scratch and remove discharge from their eyes
  • Your dog may seek out dark places out of direct light and sun light - when he/she would normally rest in brighter areas
  • Your dog's tear ducts may have increased tear production
  • Increased discharge coming from the dog's eye, may collect around the eye area and make it difficult for your dog to blink or open his/her eye

4.0 Contagiousness of Eye Infections

Eye infections are very contagious.Use great care when touching/treating an infected eye. If your dog has one eye that is infected and one eye that is not infected – if you are not careful you can end-up accidentally introducing the infection to the non-infected eye.
  • Make sure you wash your hands after touching/treating the infected eye
  • Don’t use the same cotton swab, cloth etc. on both eyes – use a fresh cotton swab, cloth etc. for each eye
  • Make sure the eye-dropper, ointment or medicine applicator does not touch the eye – if it does wash the tip before reusing or applying to the other eye
  • Wash your hand thoroughly after touching, treating the infected eye

5.1 Pink-Eye also known as Conjunctivitis is Highly
     Contagious, and Zoonotic
  • Is zoonotic - transferable from:
    • Human to dog when the infection is bacteria-based pink eye
    • Dog to dog
    • Insect to dog
  • The bacterial form of pink eye is the most common form of conjunctivitis
  • The viral form of pink eye is an air borne virus that is particularly common in the winter when the air is damp and humid
  • The third most common cause of pink eye is triggered by environmental allergies which can cause irritation of the sinus and inflammation of the mucus membranes of the eye - in which case the cure involves addressing both the conjunctivitis and the environmental allergy

5.2 Eye Infections Worsen Very Quickly

If you think your dog or cat has an eye infection - take action ASAP as eye infections can advance very quickly. On the first day you may notice a little discharge and by the next day the infection can be fully developed! Especially if your dog’s or cat’s immune system is suppressed. The following are some very typical substances that can contribute to a suppressed immune system:

6.0 Treating and Curing Eye Infections

Step 1 - Topical Treatment

Clean Your Dog’s or Cat’s Eye Right Away

Use this Saline Solution
  • Combine;
    • ½ cup warm water (distilled water if you have it on hand)
    • ½ tsp salt
    • Stir
    • Apply some of the solution to a cotton ball
    • Use the cotton ball to wipe your dog’s or cat’s eye

Apply a Topical Treatment, Curative to The Infected Eye 

Choose One of the Following Standard Treatments 
For use if the infection is not severe. These treatments are to be Applied 2 to 3 times per day...

6.1 Herbal Treatments

Chamomile Tea
  • Brew the tea and allow to cool so that the liquid is just slightly warm;
  • Use the liquid, drop 2 to 3 drops in the eye two to three times a day until the infection clears, or;
  • Place a cooled tea bad against the eye several times a day until the infection clears.
Eyebright Tea (cooled to warm);
  • Brew the tea and allow to cool so that the liquid is just slightly warm;
  • Use the liquid, drop 2 to 3 drops in the eye two to three times a day until the infection clears, or;
  • Place a cooled tea bad against the eye several times a day until the infection clears.
Green Tea - decaffeinated (cooled to warm)
  • Brew the tea and allow to cool so that the liquid is just slightly warm;
  • Use the liquid from the green tea, drop 2 to 3 drops in the eye two to three times a day until the infection clears, or;
  • Place a cooled tea bad against the eye several times a day until the infection clears.
Rooibos Tea (cooled to warm)
  • Brew the tea and allow to cool so that the liquid is just slightly warm;
  • Use the liquid from the rooibos tea - drop 2 to 3 drops in the eye two to three times a day until the infection clears, or;
  • Place a cooled tea bad against the eye several times a day until the infection clears.

6.2 Nutraceutical Treatments

Distilled Water and Organic Unpasturized Apple Cider Vinegar (room temperature)
Not for use with pink-eye
Distilled Water and Fresh Lemon Juice (room temperature)
Not for use with pink-eye
  • Combine;
    • 2 tbs distilled water with
    • 4 drops of fresh squeezed lemon juice
    • Stir well
    • Drop 2 to 3 drops in the eye two to three times a day until the infection clears
Distilled Water and Unpasturized Organic Honey (room temperature)
For use with an infected eye and pink eye
  • Combine;
    • 2 tbs distilled water with
    • 2 tbs unpasturized organic honey
    • Stir well
    • Drop 2 to 3 drops in the eye two to three times a day until the infection clears

Distilled Water and Oregon Grape Tincture (room temperature)
For use with an infected eye and pink eye
  • Combine;
    • 1 once distilled water with
    • 4 drops of Oregon grape tincture
    • Stir well
    • Drop 2 to 3 drops in the eye two to three times a day until the infection clears

6.3 Extra Strength Treatments

For use if the infection is more severe and/or tenacious. These treatments are to be Applied 2 to 3 times per day...

Colloidal Silver Water 
  • Drop 2 to 3 drops in the eye two to three times a day until the infection clears;
    • See this article to understand:
    • What colloidal silver is
    • How it works
    • How to select a quality product

Extra Strength Herbal Tea Eye Drops
  • Preparation
    • Boil 1/2 cup of distilled water. 
    • Select one or several of the following dry teas: calendula, camomile, eyebright, or green tea
    • Place 1/2 tsp of the dry tea in a clean cup
    • Pour the boiled water over the tea, and allow to steep for 10 minutes
    • Remove the tea leaves or flowers, and allow the brewed tea to cool
    • Add ½ tsp of Himalayan pink salt to the cooled brewed tea, stir to dissolve
    • The herbal tea drop liquid is ready for use
  • To Use
    • Place 2 to 3 drops in the affected eye(s), two to three times a day until the infection clears
    • The tea can also be used to gently wipe and clean around the fur around your dog's eye.
    • Brew a new batch of the herbal eye drops daily, until no longer required for use

Step Two -  Dietary Support For Eye Health

While you are topically treating your dog or cats eye infection you should also add foods and/or supplements to the daily diet to help recovery of the eye infection...

Add Foods (to Your Dog’s and Cat’s Daily Diet) That Support Eye-Health and Speed Recovery from Infections

The following foods and supplements support eye health, speed recovery and support your dog’s immune system – use them daily and keep them in your dog’s permanent diet to support good health and help avoid future infections…

Boost Your Dog’s and Cat’s daily Vitamin A intake;
  • Included some foods that are very high in Vitamin A in your dog’s and cat's  daily diet;
    • Butternut Squash
    • Carrots
    • Dark leafy greens (dandelion, spinach, kale)
    • Dark leafy lettuce (red leaf lettuce, radicchio, romaine, frizzy lettuce, etc.)
    • Herbs
      • Parsley (dried or fresh)
      • Basil (dried or fresh)
    •  Papaya
  • Turkey and chicken liver are rich in Vitamin A. If your dog or cat is on a balanced raw diet you already have this covered. If your dog or cat isn't on a balanced raw diet you can cook a little turkey or chicken liver in coconut oil or olive oil (low heat cooking only to avoid the formation of carcinogens). Add a piece of the cooked liver to your dog’s or cat’s food once a day. Liver should not exceed 5% of your dog or cat's daily intake of animal protein. If your dog or cat has never had raw or cooked liver before start with a very small amount and slowly increase to the 5% daily quota.
  • Cantaloupe - you can give cantaloupe to your dog for a snack. Even better if it is topped with yogurt or kefir. You can read this article to understand how to choose a good yogurt and kefir for your dog or cat.

Boost Your Dog's Antioxident Intake With Eye Health Nourishing Herbal Tea
Allow your dog to self-select the herbal tea she prefers.
Brewed, cooled:
 Daily Dosage Based on Body Weight:
  • 1-10 lbs: 1 tsp to 1/8 cup, 1 to 3 times per day
  • 10-20 lbs: 1/4 cup, 1-3 times per day
  • 20-50 lbs: 1/4 to 1 cup, 1- 3 times per day
  • 50-100 lbs: 1/2 to 1 cup, 1x to 3x per day
  • 100+ lbs: up to 1 cup, 1x to 3x per day 
Boost your Dog’s or Cat’s Daily Vitamin C Intake
  • Add fresh lemon to your dog’s daily diet – see this article for preparation and dosage
  • Or add fresh papaya to your dog's, cat's daily diet

Boost Your Dog’s and Cat’s Daily Bioflavonoid Intake
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
    • You can read about the many benefits, how to prepare and dosage here
  • Green Tea or Rooibos Tea
    • You can read about Rooibos tea, its many benefits, daily dosage here
  • Papaya (and Mango)
  • Peppers (bell) - Sweet red, yellow, orange, or purple Bell Peppers
    • If your dog suffers from an inflammatory condition such as arthritis skip the peppers as the bell pepper plant is a nightshade family  plant. Nightshades can increase inflammation in the case of an existing inflammatory condition
  • Blueberries, blackberries, raspeberries, serviceberries, tart red cherries
6.0 Duration of Treatment
  • Your dog’s or cat’s eye infection should begin to subside after several days of treatment;
  • If improvement does not start to occur after several days switch to the extra strength treatment.

7.0 When To Get Your Dog or Cat to a
  • If you have switched to the extra strength treatment and do not see improvement begin to occur the following day
  • If your dog is showing signs of lost appetite or sluggishness/lack of energy and with treatment his/her appetite or energy level does not return within a day or two
  • While these treatments are effective for most eye infections there will be some cases when a home remedy may not be enough to cure the infection – particularly if you have only started treating the infection once it is in an advanced stage
  • If the infection is a result of a trauma to the eye

8.0 Daily Diet - the Foundation of Issues, Remedies

Make sure your dog and cat is on a daily diet that truly supports a healthy immune system. A good diet is the best defense against disease and illness. Herbs and nutraceuticals should be incorporated into the diet to support treatment, remedy and ongoing long-term daily health.

Chronic infections CANNOT be resolved using topical treatment only - the root cause of the infection MUST be addressed. Review of every aspect of the existing diet, existing health care regimen and design of a new diet, health care regimen is essential to remedy chronic infections.

9.0  Holistic Remedy

Holistic Wellness and Behaviorist Services

Do you need holistic advice to support your companion animal's health and well being? Become a client. Book your consultation. My professional holistic nutrition, wellness and behavioral services are available to you:
🌿 Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats πŸ• 🐈
🌿 Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs πŸ•

My Holistic Client Services are Available Worldwide:
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πŸ‡¨πŸ‡· Costa Rica and other Central American countries 
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Available Holistic Consultations and Sessions:
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Menu of Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats πŸ•πŸˆ
For more information go here. 
✅  Maintain Health, and;
✅  Address Health Issues and Conditions:
✓ Treatment and Remedy 
 Pre-Surgery holistic support protocols
 Post-Surgery holistic healing protocols
 Pre-Vaccine holistic support protocols 
 Post-Vaccine holistic support protocols
 Natural Insect and Parasite Prevention
 Natural Treatment for Insect, Parasite Infestation, Co-Infection, Disease
✅  Custom Designed Whole Food Diets - raw or gently cooked, and;
✅  Advice and Recommendation: 
✓ Premade Diets - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried 
✓ Supplemental Fresh Foods - raw, gently cooked
✓ Super foods
✓ Treats - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried, gently cooked
✓ Herbs 
✓ Alternative Medicines

Menu of Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs πŸ•
For more information go here
In-person Sessions - available locally
Voice and Video Sessions - available worldwide 
✓   Obedience Training
✓   Behavior Modification
✓   Psychological Rehabilitation

Affiliations to Companies
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✓ I'm not aligned with any companies.
✓ I choose to maintain my objectivity in selecting best-solutions for my individual client's needs.

Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld 


  1. This is wonderful, i so hate having to give chemicals to my beloved pets as i do feel these do not help encourage they're natural immune system, also most veterinary prices are pretty high and not always affordable, plus theres the question on how to get to the vets when transport is not an option. So thank you, your an angel of mercy to my furry family.

  2. I am surprised to see garlic as a recommended supplement for dogs and cats. This is a toxic substance to them that is as dangerous as chocolate. This makes me question the reliability of any other information and suggestions you have. Garlic can even be fatal to cats and dogs.

    1. Lisa - you are 100% INCORRECT. Garlic is NOT dangerous for dogs - you have much to learn - recommended reading for you http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/garlic-for-dogs-health-benefits.html

    2. Garlic does not harm your pets. I have given my dogs garlic for years and they are still alive and doing fine

    3. Garlic helps my dog with infections so much, the trick is to know the dosage. Too much of anything is bad. Its not fatal, all it does is reduces the amount of oxygen the blood can carry & in high amounts will make your pet very sick & die. That's if you feed them too much too often, for example feeding your cat hamburger mince every day will kill it. Adding a bit of garlic to your pets diet will only benefit them.

  3. I LOVE your website and all the wonderful natural remedies you share. Health is our most precious asset and we need to do all we can to keep or restore it. God bless you for helping others! I share your website with people all the time. Thank you, Karen!


Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Practitioner – Dogs and Cats
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer