Dear VetBabble: Why is My Dog’s Eye Swollen and What Should I Do?
Yesterday, we noticed the reddish-pink part of my dog’s eye swollen. We hoped it would go down overnight, but it didn’t. What do I do? Your dog could have a scratch, an ulcer, an infection, or an allergic reaction. I recommend taking him/her to a vet so they can examine it and possibly prescribe medication to make it feel better. Most eye problems will not go away on their own.
Possible Causes of Swollen Eyes in Dogs
There are various reasons why your dog may be experiencing a swollen eye. These include common eye conditions, infections, and even allergies. Understanding the potential cause of your dog’s eye issue is essential to ensure proper treatment and care.
Some Common Eye Conditions in Dogs that can cause swelling include:
- Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the tissue that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. It can be caused by allergies, infections, or irritants.
- Corneal ulcers: Open sores on the cornea, which can be caused by trauma, infection, or other eye diseases.
- Uveitis: Inflammation of the uveal tract, which can be caused by infections, immune-mediated diseases, or trauma.
- Cherry Eye: Prolapse of the third eyelid gland, which is more common in certain breeds like bulldogs, beagles, and cocker spaniels.
- Glaucoma: Increased pressure within the eye, which can lead to vision loss if not treated promptly.
It’s essential to identify whether your dog’s eye issue is due to an infection or an Allergic Reaction. Allergies can manifest in various ways, such as skin irritations, ear infections, and even eye swelling. Some common allergens that can affect your dog’s eyes include pollen, mold, dust mites, and even certain foods. Learn more about Dog Allergies and how to identify and manage them.
Visiting a Veterinarian
Since there are many potential causes for your dog’s swollen eye, it’s crucial to take your furry friend to a veterinarian for a proper examination. The vet will assess your dog’s eye, discuss the history of the issue and may perform some tests to diagnose the problem accurately. Depending on the cause, the vet might prescribe medications such as eye drops, ointments, or oral medications to help alleviate your dog’s symptoms and treat the underlying issue.
If the eye problem is severe, further tests or treatment might be necessary, such as surgery to address cherry eye or medication to lower the pressure in a case of glaucoma. Your vet will guide you through the proper treatment plan and ensure your dog’s eye health is taken care of.
At-Home Care and Prevention
While it’s essential to seek professional help for your dog’s swollen eye, there are some things you can do at home to support their recovery after the vet’s visit. Follow your vet’s instructions closely regarding medications and any recommendations they may provide.
In the meantime, you can help your dog by keeping their eye area clean and free of debris. Gently wipe around the eye with a soft, damp cloth daily. Avoid using harsh chemicals or irritating materials near your dog’s eyes. If your dog has a wound or scratch near the eye, it is essential to know How to Treat your Dog’s Wounds at Home safely and effectively.
To prevent future eye issues, regularly check your dog’s eyes for any signs of irritation or infection, and maintain good grooming habits. Trim the hair around their eyes to prevent it from poking or irritating them. Additionally, keep your dog’s living environment clean and free of allergens and irritants, especially if they are prone to allergies.
By staying vigilant and addressing any potential eye issues promptly, you can keep your dog’s eyes healthy and prevent further complications.