How to Give Eye Medications to Your Pet

Administering eye medications, whether it is a drop or a gel, to your pet can be quite the task especially when the veterinarian also requires the eye medication to be given four times a day or more!

Understanding Veterinary Prescription Instructions

Please read and understand your veterinarian’s prescription instructions before applying the medicines. If you have any questions, clarify them with your veterinarian beforehand.

Precautions and Preparation

Before you try to give eye medications to your pet, wash your hands to help prevent contamination. Take care as not to let the medication’s applicator tip come into contact with your pet’s eyes or eyelids. This can cause trauma but also can contaminate the medication. If this happens, wash the applicator tip with a clean cloth.

Tips for Administering Eye Drops

Here are some helpful tips to help make administering eye drops easier for you and your pet:

  1. Gently clean away any debris around your pet’s eyes before applying the medication with a warm damp cloth.
  2. If you are trying to give the medications by yourself, it may be helpful to administer them while your pet is on your lap (if small enough), wrapped in a towel or sitting down in front of you between your legs. The key is that they should be facing away from you to help prevent them from backing away.
  3. Hold the bottle using your thumb, and index finger of your dominant hand with the tip pointed downward. Your palm can rest on your pet’s forehead for stability, and your last two fingers of the same hand can try to hold the eye open. Your other non-dominant hand is used to hold them still and can lift their head/nose upwards.
  4. Hold the bottle close to the eye but DO NOT touch the eye surface or eyelashes and apply the directed amount of eye drops. Your pet will blink, and this helps to spread the medication over the eye.

Administering Gel Eye Medications

If you are applying eye medications, which are a gel, I recommend washing your hands or wearing gloves, then applying the thin strip of the medication onto your finger. Do all of the steps as listed above however instead of squeezing a small bottle and applying drops, you roll the gel medication into the bottom eyelid pocket with your finger. This way you prevent damaging the eye.

Final Recommendations

As a last note, when you need to apply more than one type of eye medication, please wait 5-10 minutes between each eye medication.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital at 403-342-6040. We will be happy to help.

Written by Dr. Sarah Hanson, DVM