Antibiotic Eye Drops for Dogs

Updated February 21, 2017

If a dog owner notices his dog's eyes bulge, appear red or cloudy, tear or have a discharge, a veterinarian should evaluate the dog for a possible eye infection. A vet should confirm the problem stems from an infection, rather than an eye virus or the presence of a foreign body in the dog's eye. If the problem results from an infection, the dog owner should only administer antibiotic eye drops prescribed by a vet.


Watch the dog carefully for signs conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye), a common eye infection that many dogs contact. Conjunctivitis can pass from humans to dogs or develop as a result of a foreign body entering the dog's eye or an eye injury. Signs of conjunctivitis include squinting, redness in one or both eyes or a discharge from one or both eyes.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca

Observe the moisture level in the dog's eyes when the dog seems uncomfortable due to red, itchy or irritated eyes. Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, "dry eye," occurs when the dog's tear ducts can't produce enough moisture, resulting in eye infections. Veterinarians treat Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca with Cyclosporine antibiotic eye drops. Cyclosporine works as an immunosuppressive and helps to relieve the symptoms of this condition.


Check to see if the fur around the dog's eyes seems stained by tears. This may result from Epiphora, a condition that causes excessive tearing in a dog's eyes. Veterinarians will often prescribe Lincocin antibiotic eye drops to treat Epiphora.


Apply eye drops carefully to a dog's eye. Lift the dog's muzzle upward with one hand and let the eye drops drip from above. Rest the heel of the hand that holds the eye drop bottle on the dog's forehead so the bottle does not accidentally touch the dog's eye. Drip the eye drops from 1 inch or more. Don't touch the tip of the bottle to the dog's fur.

Alternative treatments

Some naturalpath veterinarians suggest investigating alternative natural treatments before resorting to more aggressive treatments, such as antibiotics. If the dog's veterinarian agrees that treatment with antibiotic eye drops can wait for a little while without compromising the dog's health, try some of the alternative treatments. These include changing the dog's diet to include more vitamins and minerals, placing compresses of teas or saline-water solutions on the dog's eyes, administering cod liver oil (both orally and as eye drops) and mixing euphrasia officinalis (also called Eyebright) with a saline solution and applying it to the dog's eyes.

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About the Author

Laurie Rappeport is a writer and blogger with more than 10 years of experience. Her areas of expertise are in education, child development, travel, pets, nutrition and health for Demand Studios and a major travel website. Rappeport holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University.