Help with dog eye drops

(5 Posts)
Albus62442 Thu 11-Oct-18 09:25:39

I need advice with giving our 11 month old Cocker Spaniel eye drops!
He keeps getting conjunctivitis in his right eye, this is the third time in 6 months or so. Our vet believes he has allergies which sets it off but I'm having a really hard time getting eye drops in.

The first time he was OK, if resentful, and it cleared up but the second time he just turned into a different dog and snarled, bit and attacked us if we came anywhere near him with the drops. He can smell them and he knows we have them. It was really hot so he was lethargic and I used to pounce on him when he was sleeping on the kitchen floor and squirt as much as I could in but he cottoned onto that.
We tried muzzle training but he just wasn't having it, I can't pin him down he's too wriggly or he attacks your arms and face, we've tried wrapping him in a towel but same problem. I can't do it alone because he wriggles too much or bites your hand.

The vet kept telling me there was nothing else they can do except drops and now he's petrified to go there too. We're trying herbal calming powder from them but I'm not convinced by it.

He now has it again, started yesterday so I haven't tried drops yet but I'm already in tears about what is to come. We've been wiping his eye with cotton pad and salty water for time being and he lets us do that but we obviously can't do this with a drop.

Please, please can someone give me some advice or help. Thank you for reading all that too. I'm at my wit's end and I'm terrified he'll end up losing his eye.

OP’s posts: |
Albus62442 Thu 11-Oct-18 09:26:49

I should add DP does help me but I think sometimes both of us worries him more!

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Thu 11-Oct-18 10:26:50

Battendog is a springer with eye problems. He also gets sore lip folds on his mouth and I am suspicious the two are linked. Since I started keeping his mouth clean with hibiscrub he has not had any eye problems. Just thought I'd mention.

Anyway, I am assuming the eye drops are thick and gel like (isathal or similar)? if he hates the dropper and links it to a bad experience could you change things up a bit and put a blob on your finger and then transfer it to his eye? Obviously, you would need to make sure your hands were scrupulously clean beforehand so you don't risk further infecting the eye. You'd also want to clean them again afterwards for your own safety.

Before trying this you could help him get used to having your finger near his eye by linking it with treats.

e.g. hold your finger out like it has gel on it, just bring it within a couple of feet of him, then treat him. Repeat, repeat.

Slowly build up to your finger being closer and closer to his eye, over multiple sessions. Over time he should get used to the idea that your finger being held quickly on the inner corner of his eye is not unpleasant and results in treats. This should make it easy for him to accept it when the gel is needed. Try to practise well before you need to apply the gel for medical purposes.

Alternatively, if you don't like the finger idea then ask your vet for a different brand of eye drop so you can start afresh without any prior bad experiences clouding the learning, and build up in exactly the same way.

Albus62442 Thu 11-Oct-18 12:01:57

Thank you missbattenburg.

I've never noticed sore lips but definitely worth a go, I'll try anything!

We've had the thick gel one and the liquid ones - like human ones. His reaction was the same with both sad I think I will use your method of training him to let my finger near him, he doesn't mind whatsoever if I rub his eyes it's just the dropper but I will definitely reinforce it before I start with the medication. I never thought about actually doing it with my (sterilised) hand. Thank you for your help.

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Thu 11-Oct-18 12:10:37

With battendog, the lip fold is such that you wouldn't see it was sore until you physically separated the lips out. Then you can see how deep the fold goes and see any soreness. Anyway, I only think they are link because both flare up at the same time - though, of course, they could be immune system linked so flare up when he's run down, tired etc.

Still, when his lip gets sore so he starts licking himself and I wonder if he transfers some of the bacteria saliva from his lips to his paws or legs and then to his eyes - or something like that.

Good luck with the finger method!

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