Eye problems in dogs

What Causes a Sty On a Dog's Eye

Elsie Goycoolea
By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Causes a Sty On a Dog's Eye

Just like people, dogs can suffer from eye styes. An eye sty will appear as an inflamed red pimple or abscess on the outside or inside of the eyelid as a result of a bacteria infection. Dogs are very active and are usually exposed to environments with higher rates of infectious organisms. It is important to take care of a dog’s eye in order to prevent an eye sty from spreading or infecting other tissues of the eye.

In this OneHowTo article we explain what causes a sty on a dog’s eye to help you take care of your dog's lesion.

You may also be interested in: What Causes Red Eyes in Dogs
  1. Insufficient eye hygiene
  2. Dog walks and staphylococcal infections
  3. Human contact
  4. Sensitive eyes and blepharitis

Insufficient eye hygiene

Dogs with short hair usually require less grooming and their eyes may need little care. However, dogs with longer hair, especially across the face, may have difficulty maintaining an optimum eye health without more extensive care. Hair across the eyes can be the perfect place for bacteria and other harmful organisms to grow and reproduce.

What Causes a Sty On a Dog's Eye - Insufficient eye hygiene

Dog walks and staphylococcal infections

Staphylococcal bacteria are the most common cause for a dog’s eye sty. Dog’s can become infected by staphylococcus following a cut, a burn or even an insect bite. When taking your dog for a walk make sure to avoid areas with a large number of insects or terrains that may have abundant vegetation. Equally, take care of a burn or a cut immediately.

What Causes a Sty On a Dog's Eye - Dog walks and staphylococcal infections

Human contact

People take care of their dogs by giving them love, shelter and food among other perks. However, staph infections can also be caused from humans to dogs. Bodily fluids derived from coughs, sweat, towels and even leftover food can transmit the bacteria. It is important to make sure that we exercise care over the products and materials that we might share with our dogs to reduce the risk of transferring these harmful organisms. For more information on the subject, take a look at our article: Are dog styes contagious?

What Causes a Sty On a Dog's Eye - Human contact

Sensitive eyes and blepharitis

Dogs that suffer from chronic inflammation or redness of the eyelids may suffer from blepharitis. If your dog has sensitive eyelids that get swollen, itchy, inflamed and sore may have a higher tendency of developing an eye stye Eye styeand blepharitis is a common condition in humans and dogs that is not contagious. However, adopting a daily cleaning habit can control the symptoms and prevent eye stye.

If your dog has a stye, then make sure you know how to cure it.

If you want to read similar articles to What Causes a Sty On a Dog's Eye, we recommend you visit our Pets category.


  • Wear protective gloves when treating a dog’s eye.
  • Don’t pop an eye sty as it may risk further infections.
  • You may use home remedies such as clean washcloths or tea bags soaked in warm water to clean the area.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact your vet if the symptoms don’t’ disappear after a few days.
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1 comment
Maribel Rivera
I never knew that pets can get sty.... I took my Labrador to the vet immediately after I saw it..... and it makes me sooooo UPSET that. The diagnose they gave me was that he had scratched his eye....
I didn’t believe it because he’s with me 24/7 he’s my service pet. The gave me meds, but no antibiotics,
So 1 week went by, my neighbor said it was a sty and probably got infected, which it did. Because I took him to their vet. Sure it was a sty, and got infected he’s eye was sooo red. They gave me meds and antibiotics. That was 2 day already and I see a little difference This has got me so upset, took my money and didn’t give him the the proper meds. I was sooo afraid he was gonna go blind.
Thank you for your article.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Marivel, we are glad we can help and so happy to hear he is on the mend!
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What Causes a Sty On a Dog's Eye