Puppy Eye Infections | Proper Essential Treatment and Care

By: Danielle Harris

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Puppy Eye Infections

Introduction to Newborn Puppy Eye Infection

Newborn puppy eye infection, usually called neonatal conjunctivitis is common, but not to worry it’s easy to treat and most often is caused by bacterial infection.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of newborn puppy eye infections, discussing their causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention tips.

Causes of Newborn Puppy eye Infection

Bacterial Infections

Bacteria are one of the most common causes of infections in newborn puppies. Puppies are particularly susceptible as their immune systems are not fully developed.

Bacterial infections may result from a variety of factors, such as exposure to contaminated surfaces, contact with other infected animals, or even transmission from the mother during birth. Puppies also have tiny sharp nails. Because the eyes aren’t open for a few weeks they often poke each other. Bacteria from the nails poking the eyes can be a factor.

Viral Infections

Viruses can also lead to infections in newborn puppies. Canine herpesvirus, for instance, is a common virus that can cause infections in puppies.

Like bacterial infections, viral infections may spread through contact with infected animals or surfaces.

Environmental Factors

Puppy eye infection- swollen eye
Puppy eye infection- swollen eye

In some cases, environmental factors can contribute to infections in newborn puppies. Allergens, irritants, or foreign objects may lead to inflammation and infection if they come into contact with a puppy’s sensitive eyes.

Signs and Symptoms

Swollen, Red Eyes

One of the first signs of an eye infection that occurs in newborn puppies is swelling and redness around the eyes. This inflammation is a result of the body’s immune response to the infection.

Puppy Eye Infection


Another common symptom is the presence of discharge. This discharge may be clear, cloudy, or pus-like and can vary in color from white to yellow or green.

Squinting and Rubbing Eyes

Newborn puppies with eye infections may squint or rub their eyes frequently due to discomfort or irritation from dry eye. They may also be more sensitive to light than usual.

Treatment Options:

Veterinary Care

If you suspect that your newborn puppy has an eye infection, it’s essential to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will open and examine your puppy’s eye(s) and may perform tests to determine the cause of the infection.

Depending on the severity and cause of the infection, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotic or antiviral eye drops or ointments to treat.

Prescription Eye ointment - Neomycin
Prescription Eye ointment – Neomycin

Home Remedies

In addition to veterinary treatment, there are some home remedies that can help alleviate the symptom.

One common remedy is to gently clean the affected eye with a warm, damp cloth to remove any discharge.

Make sure to use a separate cloth for each eye to avoid spreading the infection. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian before attempting any home remedies to ensure they’re safe and appropriate for your puppy’s age and specific condition.

Using warm compresses, hold the compress to the eye. This will help the eye to open and infection to drain. After each compression, you can gently try to pull the eye lids apart. If they don’t open but there’s pus, you can gently rub over the eye, to push out the pus.

NEVER poke the eye with tweezers or any other tools. EVER

Once you get the eye open, use saline solution to flush out the eye. It’s important to use fresh distilled water or boiled and cooled water. Never use tap water.

Next you will need an antibiotic ointment to put into the eye a few times a day over the next week or so. Terramyicn is a great product to have on hand.

If the eye refuses to open soon after you notice, the pup will need to see a veterinarian where they will open the eye for you and flush it out. Usually they give neomycin which is a prescription that comes in the form of drops or ointment.

Opening the eye prematurely with tools does not hurt the puppy. But it is important for a veterinarian to do this, as they are properly trained.

Prevention Tips

Prevention involves maintaining a clean and healthy environment. Puppies poop and pee a lot. Regularly sanitize your puppy’s living area, toys, and bedding to minimize the risk of infection.

Additionally, be cautious when introducing your puppy to new animals, as they may carry bacteria and viruses.

Finally, following a proper vaccination schedule can help protect your puppy from viral infections that may cause eye issues.

When to See a Veterinarian

If you notice any signs of an eye infection in your newborn puppy, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. While not initially life threatening, eye infections can become serious. They can lead to blindness and the infection can spread to other parts of the body including the brain.

Prompt treatment can help prevent complications and ensure the best possible outcome for your furry friend.

Moreover, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if your puppy’s condition worsens or does not improve after starting treatment.


Eye infections in newborn puppies can be a serious concern, but with prompt attention and proper care, most puppies will recover fully.

Being aware of the causes, signs, and symptoms, as well as seeking veterinary care when necessary, will help you keep your puppy’s eyes healthy and infection-free.

Remember, prevention is key, so maintain a clean environment and follow your veterinarian’s recommendations to keep your puppy happy and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can cause eye infections in newborn puppies?

Eye infections in newborn puppies can be caused by bacteria from birth and puppy nails, viruses, or environmental factors such as allergens, irritants, or foreign objects.

How can I tell if my newborn puppy has an eye infection?

Common signs in newborn puppies include swollen, red eyes, discharge, and squinting or rubbing the eyes.

If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly.

What should I do if I think my newborn puppy has an eye infection?

If you suspect that your newborn puppy has an eye infection, seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose and treat the infection to help your puppy recover.

Can I treat my newborn puppy’s eye infection at home?

While there are some home remedies that may help alleviate the symptoms, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian before attempting any treatments at home.

Your veterinarian will provide guidance on the safest and most effective course of action for your puppy’s specific condition.

How can I prevent eye infections in my newborn puppy?

To prevent, maintain a clean and healthy environment, be cautious when introducing your puppy to new animals, and follow a proper vaccination schedule as recommended by your veterinarian.

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