Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Dog Wearing Glasses Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious infection of the eye or eyes, it can spread very easily from dog to dog. If you notice your dog has mild red or weeping eyes this could be the start of conjunctivitis.

Left untreated it can become rather unpleasant for your dog. You may notice your dog squinting or blinking spasmodically, trying to rub the eye on furniture or with its paw. Discharge from the eye(s) may be clear or may contain mucus and/or pus.

At first signs, you can treat with simple black tea. In fact this remedy is effective on all kinds of sore eyes, sties and other eye infections and is always my first go to treatment.

Using a non-herbal tea bag, add enough hot water to soak the tea bag (LET THE TEA COOL). Apply the tea bag over the affected eye as a poultice. Use the remaining water from the tea bag to wash the eye frequently to keep the eye clear of infection. Continue washing the eye with the tea bag solution and applying for as long as needed.

When selecting the tea bag, any tea bag will do, except for most herbal teas. Tea bags that are composed of leaves from the actual tea shrub, (not leaves from fruit or herbal plants), have an essential ingredient that most herbal teas do not have: tannin, an astringent compound that is antibacterial, anti-viral and very soothing for the eye.


  • Do not use the same cloth or tea bag in both eyes.
  • Wash hands before and after cleaning each eye This will help reduce spread to both eyes
  • Contact your vet for further information or treatment. Do not rule out that there could be underlying issues that need medical attention.
  • If your dog has symptoms of kennel cough orconjunctivitis, please keep your dog at home during this period of time and contact your vet for further advice

Contributed by Sarah Churchouse from 4DogSake.

Sarah is the owner operator of 4DogSake Dog Daycare in Silverdale Auckland. Born into a family of dog lovers and breeders of Irish Setters, Sarah has had a lifelong bond with dogs (and horses) – so much so she created a business where she could play with dogs all day!

Sarah is a qualified vet nurse and an Animal Welfare Investigator and past manager of the Northern Animal Shelter in Auckland where she actively rehomed dogs in the pound. She also set up a dog rescue group called North Auckland Animal Rescue. In 2012 figures released showed her shelter had the highest rehoming rate for dogs across all of Auckland City

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