General information on Neonatal Conjunctivitis
Neonatal conjunctivitis, a form of conjunctivitis, is an infection and inflammation behind the eyelids of a newborn puppy. The infection can occur before or after the puppy opens its eyes for the first time, which occurs around two weeks of age. The inflammation occurs due to an accumulation of discharge behind the eyelid caused by bacteria. One of the main causes of neonatal conjunctivitis is from a predisposure from another condition called ankyloblepharon. Ankyloblepharon causes the newborn puppies eyes to not open as wide as they ought. Due to the fact that neonatal conjunctivitis is a result of bacteria, it is not uncommon for multiple puppies of the same litter to be affected by the infection. If neonatal conjunctivitis is suspected, then immediate veterinarian attention is needed due to the fact that untreated neonatal conjunctivitis can cause damage to the eye leading to blindness.
Symptoms of Neonatal Conjunctivitis
Some of the symptoms of neonatal conjunctivitis may be: swollen eyelids, discharge from the eyes, eyelids seems to stick together, not opening the eyes as wide as they ought, redness of the eyes when they do open, and blindness.
Treatments for Neonatal Conjunctivitis
The treatment for neonatal conjunctivitis is dependent on whether or not the eyes are already open. Should the eyes of the puppy not yet be opened, then they should be opened to allow the discharge behind the eyelid to drain. Once the eyes are opened then, the treatment is to clean the eyes. A veterinarian may prescribe antibiotic eye drops. If the puppy’s eyes were manually opened, then artificial tears will need to be applied frequently due to the fact that newborn puppies do not produce tears until their eyes open naturally. Once the eyes begin to produce tears, then the artificial tears are no longer necessary.
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