The idea of having to put eye drops into a dog or cat puts a lot of pet owners under stress. However, with the right technique, it can be an easy enough treatment that you can do at home without having to visit your vet every time the eye drops need to be administered. Happy Dog Vet Carina Mederle talks us through the steps of safe administration.   

If your vet prescribes your pet with eye drops, they will more than likely show you how to administer them the first time – this is generally easy as you're probably in a consultation room holding your pet whilst the vet applies the eye drops. Make sure you get clear instructions on how often to use the eye drops and how many of them to put into the eye, or both eyes.

Administering Eye Drops to Cats & Dogs at Home

Before you start to administer any treatment from home you will firstly need to ensure you clean the eye, especially if there is a lot of discharge. Clean it very carefully using cotton wool and ideally a sterile saline/eyewash solution or, if you do not have that to hand, with clean warm water.

In an ideal world you will have another person with you to hold your pet so you can use both hands for administering the eye medication. If you are on your own, try to restrain your dog or cat by backing them with their hindquarters against a wall so that he/she cannot back away from you. Remember, the better the dog/cat is restrained, the easier it will be for you to apply the treatment, leaving you less likely to hurt them or the eye.

Inserting the Eye Drops into Your Dog or Cat

If you are right-handed, place your left hand around your dog’s/cat’s chin and muzzle and push it slightly upwards, the eyes will be looking towards the ceiling. Then, you pull down the lower eyelid of the affected eye downwards with the fingers/thumb of the same hand. Doing this, you will form a pouch by the lower eyelid into which you can apply the eye drops. Keep the hand with the medication in resting on your dog’s or cat’s head at all times during the procedure in case your pet suddenly moves- this allows your hand with the medication to follow your pet without wasting the eye drops or hurting the eye.

You can now drip the recommended amounts of drops into the pouch of the eyelid. Be careful not to touch the eye/eyelid with the tip of the bottle. Once the drops are in the pouch, slowly let go of the lower eyelid, close upper and lower eyelid and slightly massage so that the medication spreads evenly over the surface of the eye. Now you can let your dog or cat go and give them a treat or reward for staying still.

Your Vet will be able to show you how to administer eye drops Your Vet will be able to show you how to administer eye drops correctly

 

Don´t be afraid to ask your vet for help or to show you how to do it best yourself at home, I am sure he will be more than happy to help you!