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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21262
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I just dog shampoo in my dogs eye (its NOT flea/tick shampoo).

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I just dog shampoo in my dog's eye (it's NOT flea/tick shampoo). Now it is swollen up. I have rinsed it out. How worried do I need to be? What do I need to do from here?

Hello, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with Duke today.


Now as I am sure you can appreciate, all shampoos are tested for their safety when it comes to eyes. Therefore, we wouldn't be worried about serious damage to the eye (like we would be with caustic chemicals). Still we do still have to be concerned about the obvious topical irritation shampoo can cause the eye and the potential secondary damage he can do if he were to rub the eye.


In this situation, you have done the right thing by flushing the eye after exposure. If you are seeing swelling of the pink tissue around the eye this will be in conjunctiva's response to the irritation. It is essentially the eye's 'defense system' against further irritants reaching the eye. So, its development is not unexpected under the circumstances though it may be hint that there could still be some shampoo on the eye.


In regards XXXXX XXXXX to approach this further, we do want to make sure all the shampoo is out of the eye. Therefore, if there is any doubt, the eye should be irrigated throughly (you may need someone to open the eye while you flush it). To do this, you can use water as you had before or saline (plain contact lens solution or salt water made at a dose of 1tbsp salt fully dissolved in a pint warm water). The saline has the benefit of being a mild antiseptic and will help prevent any infection if there has been any ulcerations or erosions to the cornea from either the shampoo or any contact with the eye (either during flushing or if he has rubbed).


Otherwise, it is a case of monitoring the eye and potentially continuing to flush the eye a few times daily. If the swelling isn't settling or he does seem irritated by the eye (and tries to rub it), then we'd want his vet to evaluate the eye. The vet can stain the cornea to make sure there is no trauma to the cornea and can provide dog safe anti-inflammatories (ie metacam, rimadyl, onsior, etc) to reduce the conjunctival swelling and relieve any irritation he may have with this.


Overall, it sounds like you have taken the right steps in dealing with this situation and I wouldn't expect there to be anything more sinister then irritation from the shampoo's contact. Therefore, consider flushing the eye a bit more and monitoring at this stage. And if it's not settling over the next 12-24 hours or he appears very sore, then consider following up with his vet at that stage.




I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Dr. B.


Remember that if you have any lingering questions or concerns, please reply so that we may continue our conversation. I will be happy to work with your further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. Please remember to rate my answer when you are satisfied (with 4-5 stars or a happy face) so that I may receive credit for my assistance. Thank you & have a great day. : )




Dr. B. and 3 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Patricia,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Duke. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The eye looked worse on Monday and he woke up with his eye glued shut so I ended up taking Duke to the vet. She said that the salt water formula could actually be irritating it more but to buy a regular saline formula (NOT VISINE) because it will be more balanced and to use that, and if there is no improvement from that we will put him on some medicated drops. It is looking like the eye is improving so I don't think the medication will be necessary.

Good morning,

I suppose if you weren't able to fully dissolve the salt into the water, it may have caused a bit of irritation but it rarely does so. In any case, a pre-prepared saline solution like the plain contact solution I mentioned before is always ideal (since it is fully dissolved). Anyway, its good the swollen conjunctiva is settling and the astringent nature of the saline in any of its forms will keep any opportunistic bacteria away and I'd not expect you to need topical eye meds in this situation either.

Take care and all the best,
Dr. B.