Fact File

Eye drops

Prior to administering any eye medication, wipe any excessive discharge with a wet warm cotton wool pad or similar.

In general, only one drop is necessary. If by mistake you apply more drops, this should not be harmful.

Read the instructions given by your vet as some drops should be kept in the fridge and others need to be shaken before applying.

If someone is assisting you with this procedure, your assistant can help you by holding your pets body and head.

The safest manner to apply drops is using both hands. One hand steadies the head and directs your pet’s nostril slightly upwards – non-dominant hand. Your dominant hand holds the bottle and directs the dispenser towards the eye. Gently rest the outside of your palm on your pets’ forehand and gently squeeze the bottle. The drop will build up at the end of the dispenser and should gently fall on the ocular surface. Keep the eye open and the nostril facing the ceiling for a few seconds.

Avoid touching the eye with the bottle dispenser, as this could damage the cornea (windscreen of the eye). If you are not sure if the drop has reached the ocular surface, please feel free to apply another drop.

For more information, please see the video available in the RVC web site.

Eye ointment

Similar to when applying eyedrops, clean the eyes before applying medication and find an assistant if necessary

Ointments can be applying directly onto the ocular surface, similar to applying eye drops. Position your hands the same manner – non-dominant hand underneath the chin and dominant hand over your pet’s head. Gently squeeze some ointment out and ensure that only the ointment touches the ocular surface and not the tip of the tube. You can lift the upper lid with your dominant hand and aim for the sclera – white of the eye – where it is safer to touch with the tube.

When the ointment has been applied, gently massage the eye to spread the ointment over the ocular surface.

Some useful tips

  • Your pet may collaborate better if you place them somewhere they is not used to – eg on a table top.
  • Treats or giving the eye medication before he/she goes for a walk or is fed may help him/her being on board!
  •  If your pet is wearing a hard collar you can undo it slightly when applying medication – always make sure you are able to put it back on!
  • If you struggle with the amount of medication, there is a medication chart available in our website that may help you get better organised.

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