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Dr. Marcia
Dr. Marcia, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 577
Experience:  I am a Companion Animal Veterinarian with 15 years of medical and surgical experience
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Help! My dogs right eye has turned white and is swollen. The

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Help! My dog's right eye has turned white and is swollen. The entire area around her eye is painful. We are putting atropine and Neopolydex salves in 4 times a day and giving 75 mg Rimadyl 2 times a day. this has been going on for 8 days. We've been to the vet 4-5 times and each time she stays at the vet they say she appears to be getting better but we can see it. They say they can't find a foreign object in her eye. Her third eye lid in her left eye is also red but that eye isn't white or swollen.

Hello and thank you so much for your question!


I have a few questions for you...

Can you explain what you mean when you say the eye is white? Do you mean the surface of the eye (cornea)? When you say the eye is swollen, do you mean the eyeball itself looks enlarged, or the eye looks pushed out, or the tissue around the eye looks swollen?

Is your dog having any trouble eating, chewing or opening the mouth?


thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I can better help you when I hear back from you!

Dr. Marcia

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes, the cornea has turned white. The eyeball looks enlarged and the tissue around her eye is also swollen. It also looks like the eye is pushing out a little but I really think that is just because the eyeball is swollen and makes it look like the eyeball is bulging out.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She's been eating fine but she hadn't been chewing on her pig ears or chew bone for about a week until today when she ate 3 pig ear strips.

Okay, thank you so much for your additional answers. That helps me out.


I have some big concerns about your dog's eye based on what you have described. I have a couple of thoughts as to what type of issue could be occurring.

It sounds like the treatments you are using for your dog's eye are the typical treatments for a corneal ulcer or uveitis (inflammation of the uveal part of the eye, which are some of the internal structures): antibiotic ointment, atropine (which dilates the eye and helps alleviate pain) and pain relief medication (Rimadyl). These are all good treatments, but if your dog had corneal ulcers or uveitis alone I would expect that you would be seeing a much better response by now. If the corneal is white, certainly that indicates fluid and inflammation in the cornea, which is not the only problem with your dog's eye based on what you are describing.

Here is a general article on eye pain with a lot of differnt conditions mentioned:


What concerns me even more with your dog is that the eyeball itself looks enlarged as well as the the tissue around the area. The 2 underlying conditions I would be most concerned about are:


1) Glaucoma: This disease is caused by an increase in pressure in the eye, which can have a number of underlying causes. The eyeball itself will look larger, and with time the eye is quite painful, red and bloodshot, and the cornea can turn bluish or white due to the intense inflammation. Eyes with glaucoma can easily go blind so it is very important to get it under control if possible. This condition is diagnosed by checking the eye pressures. It can be treated with a variety of medications. If it cannot be well controlled or is too advanced, the eye may have to be removed to alleviate the pain for the dog. Here is an article on glaucoma:


2) The other possibility would be retrobulbar abscess, which simply means an infection behind the eye. I am quite suspicious of this possibility as well as your dog has some consistent signs. The eyeball itself may appear enlarged because it is often pushed forward with all the swelling around it. The tissue around the eye becomes very swollen and painful, like you mention. This is not usually the case with glaucoma. The dog may have trouble chewing because it is painful to chew. This is because the infection is behind the eye area and close to the "hinge" (temporomandibular joint) of the jaw and that area can also be tender. These infections are common in dogs as they can chew on material and get a piece wedged up through the oral tissue way back in the upper part of the mouth and up behind the eye area, or a puncture wound in this area which introduces bacteria. These are tricky to diagnose as you may see nothing unusual actually in the mouth. The dog has to be sedated and the area behind the upper jaw explored. When this area is opened there may be drainage of pus and you know you have found the problem!

Here is an article on this condition:


Of course I cannot diagnose your dog online, and if I was to look at her eye I may be thinking something different. But based on your description, and the fact she is not responding well to routine treatments, these are the conditions I would want to check into. She should have a full eye exam, if not from your vet, someone else---to have the eye pressures checked (if not already done), and possible sedation and oral exploratory to see if there could be an infection behind this eye. Certainly other diagnostics may also be needed.

I hope this provides some guidance. Let me know if you have any more concerns. I will be signing off soon for the night, but will check in in the morning! Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX hope you and your dog get the answers needed! Blessings, Dr. Marcia


Dr. Marcia and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you so much for your help. It turned out to be secondary glaucoma caused by blastomytosis. The reason I contacted you was because our vet kept saying we should wait and see if she got better before going to a specialist. After reading your reply, we ended up taking matters in our own hands and saw the specialist on Monday. Coke had to have her eye removed yesterday. We have her on an anti-fungal med now and are watching very, very carefully for signs in the other eye.

Dr. Erika Tolar is the specialist we saw and she was WONDERFUL!! She's in Louisville, KY if you ever need to look her up.

Thanks again for your thorough answer. That's how I knew that there were more symptoms than our former vet noticed.

Wow! Glaucoma secondary to blastomycosis----I am SO glad you visited the eye specialist. Thank goodness you did before even more problems developed.

I hope she is doing okay after her surgery.

You are very welcome and I am glad if my answer was helpful.

Best to you, Dr. Marcia