How to administer eye treatment to your pet


Before the administration of any eye treatment, wipe away any excessive discharge with warm water and a cotton wool pad, or similar.

Eye drops

Only one drop is necessary, but if you administer more by mistake it is not harmful. Please note that some drops should be shaken before use, and some need to be kept in the fridge – please check the instructions, and if you are in any doubt, please check with the vet.

  1. First clean the eye(s) to remove excessive discharge. Administer the eye drop from behind so your pet cannot see it coming.
  2. Hold your left hand under your pet’s chin to raise his/her head upwards towards the ceiling. Holding the head upwards will make the eyes open naturally. Hold the eye drop bottle in your right hand and rest the outer edge of the palm on the top of the head, above the eye area; this hand can gently pull the upper eyelid away from the eye to make it easier to see the eye properly. The hand under the chin can pull the lower eyelid down gently although this is not usually necessary.
  3. Apply one drop directly onto the eye.
  4. Keep holding the head in the upward position for a few seconds to allow the eye drop to be absorbed.

This technique means that your hands will move with your pet’s head if it moves!

Applying eye drops

Eye ointment

Ointment can be applied directly onto the eyeball in the same way as for the eye drops, as described above.

Alternatively, you can gently pull the lower eyelid down and squeeze the ointment along the inside of the eyelid.

Gently close the eyelids and massage to help to disperse the ointment.

Applying eye ointment

How much to apply?

In general, the exact amount of ointment applied does not matter. Aim to apply the size of a grain of rice!

Intervals between different treatments

Allow at least ten to fifteen minutes between different eye treatments. The exact order is not important but spread the treatments out during the day. Ointments last in the eye longer than drops so it is better to put drops in first if possible. It is not harmful to administer different eye treatments directly after one another, however it may decrease the effectiveness of the treatment.

Adverse reactions to eye treatments

It is normal for your pet’s eye(s) to blink repeatedly after administering treatment. It is not normal for your pet to try and rub the eye(s), cry or hide after the treatment is given. If this happens often, please contact your ophthalmologist as the treatment may need to be changed.

If you have any questions about your pet’s eye treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

Arranging a referral for your pet

If you would like to refer your pet to see one of our Specialists please visit our Arranging a Referral page.