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Eye: Medicine

Formulations and Routes of Administration for Eye Medicines:

For any condition, there are different routes of administration, which should be selected according to the condition and diagnosis. For dog eye conditions, there are three different routes of administration, i.e. topical, local or systemic.

Drugs are either administered through an oral route – as in cases of generalized illness such as fever. But for dog eye problems about 80% of medicines are administered through a local or topical route with administration directly into the eye.

Since dog eyes are delicate organs, local or topical eye medicines are specially specially formulated to work with the physiology of eye, i.e. in the form of eye drops, eye ointments, eye pads etc. These formulations contain an isotonic solution or buffering gel, combined with specific therapeutics such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers, pupil dilators/constrictors, anesthetics etc.

dog eye care medicine
Dog Eye medicines usually are in the form of dog eye drops or dog eye ointments. The ointments last longer in the eye, so need to be applied with less frequency.  The type of eye dog medicine varies based on the specific diagnosis and dog eye condition.  
Source: Washington State University (all pictures on page)

In most dog eye medicines, the base or primary therapeutics are combined with an isotonic solution, which can be separately used as a dog eye wash solution.

Types of Dog Eye Medicine:

Dog eye medicines are administered to treat specific conditions such as infections, to reduce inflammation, to eliminate or reduce pain and to regulate tear production. Similarly, other drugs may be used to reduce pressure over parts of the eye, to heal any injury and to manage abnormalities in focusing and dog eyesight.

The following are different types of drugs, which are usually formulated as dog eye medicines;

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Applying Dog Eye Care Medicine

Eye medicine dog is usually applied via an ointment or liquid solution such as drops administered directly to the eye. To apply these types of solutions, lay your do on a table, standing on the side opposite the eye. Lean over the dog as indicated with the right arm draped over the dogs shoulders. Hold the muzzle with the left hand and pull down the eye lid. Apply the drops or ointment with your right hand. Do not touch the dog eye with the tip of the dog eyes medicine container..

dog eye medicine
Applying Dog Eye Care Medicine

When holding the dogs head in the left hand (for righties, hold with right hand if left handed), with your thumb, pull down the dog lower eye lid.  This will form a pouch. Keep the tip of the medicine several millimeters from the dog eye surface (do not touch the eye). Apply the ointment with a slight squeeze on the container, and let it fall into the pouch you created by lowering the dog eye lid.

dog eyes medicine pet
Eyes Medicine Pet Application

When applying eye medicine dog that is in the form of an ointment, it can help to massage the eye when the eyelid is closed.  Ask your veterinarian about the proper technique to use when applying dog eye medicine such as ointment. 

dog eyes medicine pet
Medicine Massage After Applying Ointment

Dog eye drops are also placed into the pouch you create when pulling the dog lower eyelid. Be sure to hold the dogs head and apply the exact number of drops prescribed.   It might help to rest the heal of the hand on the head in order to be more steady and to avoid poking the eye with the tip of the bottle.

dog eye medicine
Applying Dog Eye Drops

If the dog tries to get up, have one person lean over the dog in the center, with one arm over the hips and the other over the shoulders.  Hold the dogs legs close to the body and this makes it harder for the dog to get up, than if you held the legs near the paws.


dog eyes medicine pet For large dogs, try leaning against a wall holding the dog between the legs while the dog is in a sitting position. Hold the dog head in the direction opposite the person applying the dog eye drops or dog eye ointment. 

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