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How to Give Your Dog Eye Medication

Tips on applying eye medication to dogs
Using Treats

You're asking your dog to accept medication in his or her eye. This may be difficult for your dog, so prepare a great treat such as Crumps' Naturals Traditional Liver Fillets, a lick of peanut butter from a spoon, a shrimp, or cheese.

Preparation for treating eye problems in your dog

Ask your veterinarian if the medication stings. If it does, ask if you can put artificial tears in your dog's eye first to decrease the stinging sensation. For example, Pilocarpine Solution, a medication used for glaucoma, is initially irritating, especially to a dry eyeball. It's more comfortable for your dog if you put artificial tears in his or her eye for about five minutes before administering the solution.

Administering your dog's eye medication
Positioning yourself

Begin by sitting at your dog's shoulder with both of you facing the same direction. Then, have your dog lie down on his or her side with the spine against your leg. Have the medication in your dominant hand. Reach over your dog's back and position your dominant hand on your dog's muzzle, just below the eye. The pressure of your dominant hand should slightly pull down your dog's lower eyelid. Have your other hand gently controlling the top of your dog's head.

Keep your dominant hand, which is holding the medication, resting against your dog's head so that if the head moves, your hand moves with it. As the eyelid is pulled down, administer the medication in the pocket made by the lower eyelid.

  • Your goal is to put liquids or ointments into the corner of the eye or in the pocket created by gently pulling on the eyelid.
  • Do not aim for the center of the eye.
  • Use the least restraint possible.
  • Relax your breathing; if you're calm, your dog will be calm.
  • Give a great treat reward.
Reverse sides to treat the other eye

Again, sit at your dog's shoulder with both of you facing the same direction. Then, have your dog lay on his or her side with his or her spine against your other leg. Hold the medication in your dominant hand. Reach over your dog's back and position your dominant hand on your dog's muzzle, just below the eye. The pressure of your hand should slightly pull down the lower eyelid. Administer the medication in the pocket beneath the eyelid.

Positioning options

Once you've mastered the sitting technique, assume any position in which you can maintain your medication hand in contact with your pet's head. With this approach, your hand always moves as the head moves, and it is safe to administer medication under either eyelid.

For eye ointments

Administer the medication as described above, and gently close your dog's eyelids after to disperse the medication across the eyeball. Do not press or squeeze.

Safety

Use these instructions for guidance. We assume no liability for injury to you or your dog incurred by following these instructions.

Max's Tip
Max & Molly
It is best to work with your veterinary technician to use this information and develop a technique that is safe for you and your dog. We want the best for you and your dog.
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