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Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelids.
It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergies, or irritants.
Symptoms include redness, itchiness, watery discharge, and swelling.
Pink eye is usually not serious and will go away on its own within a week or two.
However, it can sometimes lead to more serious problems such as corneal ulcers.
Treatment typically involves using artificial tears and avoiding contact with irritants. In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory eye drops.
If it was caused by a virus, pink eye can spread to others through close contact or by sharing contaminated objects.
Similarly, if pink eye was caused by bacteria, it can be passed on through close contact.
In general, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid close contact with others if you have pink eye.
If you must be in close contact with someone, ensure that you wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes.
But what about our furry friends—can they also get infected by coming into contact with an infected human?
Can Dogs Get Pink Eye From Humans?
As we have already established, pink eye can be contagious for humans because the virus or bacteria that cause it can easily be passed through contact.
For this same reason, pink eye can be passed from humans to dogs – all it takes is a dog to come in contact with a contaminated surface or an infected person.
If you have pink eye, it is best to avoid close contact with your dog until the infection has cleared up. This means no petting, snuggling, or kissing!
If you must be in close contact with your dog, ensure that you wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes.
You should also clean and disinfect any surfaces that your dog may have come into contact with, such as their food and water bowl, bedding, toys, etc.
Apart from catching pink eye from humans, your dog could also get the infection in many other ways. These include allergens like pollen, foreign bodies and debris that get into the eye, parasites, distichia, and other eyelash disorders, trauma, tumors, dry eye, and tear duct inflammation.
Is Pink Eye In Dogs The Same As In Humans?
Yes, pink eye in dogs is the same as in humans.
The medical term for pink eye is conjunctivitis, and it is an inflammation of the conjunctiva.
The conjunctiva is the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids.
In both dogs and humans, conjunctivitis can be caused by several different things, including bacteria, viruses, allergies, and irritants.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis in dogs include redness of the eye, discharge from the eye, squinting, and pawing at the eye.
On the flip side, the human symptoms of pink eye include redness, itchiness, discharge, and watering of the eye.
With all these similarities, it is safe to infer that pink eye in dogs is similar to pink eye in humans.
This may well be the reason why your dog can get pink eye from humans.
Can Dogs Give Humans Pink Eye?
There are three main types of pink eye: bacterial conjunctivitis, viral conjunctivitis, and allergic conjunctivitis.
Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are both highly contagious. They can be spread through contact with infected animals or contaminated surfaces.
If you touch your eye after coming into contact with an infected dog or contaminated surface, you can develop pink eye.
Allergic conjunctivitis is however not contagious. So, it cannot be spread from a dog to human. It can also not be spread to the other dogs.
That said, it is not possible to tell what type of pink eye your dog is suffering from.
To be on the safe side, take your furry friend to the vet as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment to avoid spreading the infection.
How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious?
According to CDC, the duration of time in which pink eye will be contagious depends on the type.
Bacterial conjunctivitis usually lasts for approximately 7-10 days while viral conjunctivitis usually lasts for roughly 2-3 weeks.
Allergic conjunctivitis can last for as long as the allergy triggers are present.
If the conjunctivitis is bacterial, it will be contagious for as long as the symptoms are still on.
However, once you start treating it, conjunctivitis will no longer be contagious in 24-48 hours.
The viral types will be contagious for as long as the symptoms are there, which is typically an entire couple of weeks.
Additionally, pink eye can be passed even before the symptoms start showing.
So, if you know you have been in contact with someone or something that has pink eye, it is best to keep a close watch for any symptoms.
The incubation period for both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis is generally 1-3 days.
How to Avoid the Spread of Pink Eye from Humans to Dogs?
Pink eye spreads from humans to dogs through contaminated surfaces or physical contact with the infected dog.
As such, the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is by washing your hands regularly and disinfecting any surfaces that may have come into contact with the infection.
In case of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, ensure that you don’t share any towels, pillowcases, plates, or other items with your infected furry friend.
Quarantine is another effective method of preventing the spread of pink eye.
As hard as it may be, you may want to limit the physical encounters with your dog until they are feeling better. This includes avoiding contact with the dog’s eyes, nose, and mouth.
Also, be sure to take your dog to the vet as soon as you suspect they have pink eye.
Once they get treated, the pink eye will stop spreading, especially if it was a bacterial infection.
Treatment also reduces the duration of the diseases which means the duration of exposure to the rest of the family will also go down.
It is also a good idea to keep any pets up-to-date on their vaccinations to help prevent the spread of disease.
How is Pink Eye in Dogs Treated?
The treatment for pink eye will depend on the underlying cause.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is typically treated with antibiotics, while viral conjunctivitis is managed with eye drops.
Allergic conjunctivitis may require antihistamines or other medication to control the symptoms.
In some cases, additional treatment may be necessary to help relieve the symptoms of pink eye. This can include using artificial tears or ointments to lubricate the eyes and help reduce irritation.
Your veterinarian may also recommend using a warm compress to help soothe the eyes and reduce any swelling.
It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully when treating pink eye in dogs.
Additionally, be sure to keep the affected area clean and free of discharge to help speed up the healing process.
Further Reading: 10 Best Eye Drops for Dogs with Cataracts
Pink eye is a relatively common condition in dogs that can be caused by various things, including allergies, viral infections, and bacteria.
It is also possible for your dog to get pink eye from a human.
As such, you may want to avoid coming into contact with your dog when you have pink eye.
Interestingly, your dog can also give you pink eye. This means that whoever (you or your Fido) gets pink eye should get quarantined immediately to control the spread.
Additionally, medication attention will be needed as soon as possible.
Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.