Applying Eye Ointments to Dogs

The proper administration of eye medications is essential for your pet's prompt recovery. Make sure that you wash your hands both before and after administering the medication to avoid contamination and/or prevent the spread of infection.

If your dog's eye is painful, you may need to have someone assist you with restraint or you may need to place a muzzle on your dog. Before you start, make sure that you have read the medication label and understand the instructions. If you have any questions, please ask your veterinarian prior to administering any medication.

Hold the ointment tube using your thumb and index finger. You may want to rest this hand on the top of the dog's head to help stabilize it.

administering_eye_ointment-1With your other hand, use your thumb to gently pull down the lower eyelid. Place your remaining fingers under the dog's jaw to support the head.

Squeeze the ointment onto the inside edge of the lower lid. Make sure that you DO NOT touch the eye's surface with the tube. Your veterinarian will have instructed you on the amount of ointment to apply, typically a one-quarter inch (1/4” or 6 mm) strip of ointment for most ophthalmic medications.

The warmth of the eyeball should melt the ointment, helping it to spread. The dog will blink, further spreading the medication over the surface of the eye. It’s normal to see the ointment accumulate in the corners of the eye after administration.

Make sure you give your dog plenty of praise throughout the procedure and offer a treat after applying the ointment.

If you have any questions, please contact your veterinarian immediately. If the eye(s) appear severely inflamed or painful, or if the condition appears to worsen, do not delay in seeking veterinary medical advice.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Ernest Ward, DVM

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