5 Best Blepharitis in Dogs Treatments - Causes, Signs, and More
What is Blepharitis in Dogs?
Whether in humans or dogs, blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. In dogs, this may involve both the outer skin of the eyelids and the inner, more muscular tissue. Many of the same symptoms will be present in dogs that are present in humans with blepharitis, and these may include:
Redness of the eyelid margins
Flakes or caking on the eyelids/eyelashes
Discharge (may be clear, yellowish, or white)
Along with this, many dogs will exhibit common signs that they are uncomfortable, such as scratching or rubbing the eye area, blinking more than normal, and squinting. If the blepharitis goes untreated, it could lead to small pimples or pustules (similar to styes), severe conjunctivitis, and corneal inflammation or keratitis.
What Are Causes of Blepharitis in Dogs?
There are many potential causes of blepharitis in dogs, and many of these are similar to the causes in humans. Common causes for dogs may include infections, allergies, inflammatory disorders, parasites, and even congenital eyelid anomalies. For example, if a particular breed of dog is prone to entropion (their eyelids turning inward) or ectropion (their eyelids turning out), they may be more susceptible to blepharitis and other eyelid inflammation.
Even the shape of the dog’s face may put them at a higher risk of eye issues. Those with longer muzzles, lots of folds, or flat faces may be more susceptible. Other causes in dogs include mange or demodex, nutritional disorders, and even being around cigarette smoke and other toxic environmental factors. As you can see, the causes are not really that different from us humans!
How Do You Treat Blepharitis in Dogs?
1. Hypochlorous Acid Eyelid Cleanser
While you may not be aware that this is an option for dogs, hypochlorous acid is perfectly safe to use on your dog for eyelid inflammation. It is safe for use on all tissues and can be a great way to balance that bacterial load on your dog’s eyelids. We recommend using this twice per day if you know that your dog has blepharitis. Discuss with your veterinarian if they would like you to use it for maintenance as well.
If there is an infection present, like conjunctivitis, antibiotics may be prescribed either topically, orally, or both. These will help to calm the infection and get your dog feeling back to normal again.
3. Warm Compresses
For simple blepharitis, warm compresses may be suggested for use a few times per day. Warm compresses can help warm up the oils in the meibomian glands, and they’re incredibly helpful if your dog has a chalazion that you’re working to treat. The heat may help drain that area and make your dog more comfortable. It is likely that other measures, such as antibiotics, may be used in conjunction with warm compresses.
If your dog suffers from entropion, ectropion, or a large chalazion, surgery may be the best option. This would also be helpful for tumors causing inflammatory issues with the eyelids, therefore leading to severe blepharitis. While it seems invasive, surgery may be a great option for your dog if the blepharitis is severe and they have any of the above factors.
5. Immune Modulators
Depending on the diagnosis, your dog may be prescribed one of many different immunosuppressive drugs. This could include oral or topical steroids, or topical immune modulators. The use of these medications will depend on the condition, such as demodex, mange, sarcoptes, cuterebra or others.
We hope that this article gives you a general overview of what your dog may be suffering from in terms of blepharitis and other eyelid conditions. As always, discuss any treatment regimen with your veterinarian prior to beginning.