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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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My dogs right eye is puffy underneath, appears to be bulging

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My dog's right eye is puffy underneath, appears to be bulging and is very watery.

Now when you saw the right eye is puffy underneath, do you mean below the eye? Or is the area that is puffy the eyelid or the eye itself seems to be enlarged?

If the puffy area is under the eye then I'd have some suspicion of a tooth root abscess. How old is your dog? Has he/she had any odor or discharge from his mouth? The watery material might be abscess material draining out of the area of infection.

Please let me best know where it is located.

Dr. Bruce

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It seems that it is a "bag" under his eye AND the actual eye seems to be bulging. He has had an absessed toother in the past and this seems different (up higher directly under the eye, lower lid). He is eight years old. There seems to be no discharge or odor from the mouth.
Does he seem to be painful? Is he squinting the right eye? Is the white part of the eye reddened? Is he able to blink his right eye?

Not that I want to say "good he's had a tooth root abscess in the past"...wouldn't wish that on any pet, but it is fortunate that you have seen one in the past. Now that being said, sometimes they can present a little different, but your description of being higher makes it very unlikely.

Dr. Bruce

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

He doesn't seem to be squinting heavily, but maybe a little. He blinks it. When I try to touch it, he will let me, but he flinches a little. Now that I look closer, the bulge seems to be directed to the lower lid and in toward the inside corner of the eye (like where the tear duct would be?) and that is all puffy and bulged. The white part on the inside corner is very red and actually lumpy looking.


Now that we are looking closer, his cheek is swollen, in comparison to the other cheek, so I am beginning to wonder if your first diagnosis was correct! The actual swelling that I am calling the "cheek" is back just in front of the ear, so i guess it's not really the cheek.


He has had both of the "large" back teeth removed a few years ago, our vet said those were the most common to go, so we thought this problem would not occur again...!


My poor dog! He has been wearing a cone due to the problems with the left eye for 1.5 weeks, being poked and prodded and cut, etc.!


Oh and FYI he is currently taking Rimadyl for pain, so that could be helping that when i touch it he doesn't act like it hurts terribly.

From what your describing with the eye itself, it is starting to sound like he could have a case of conjunctivitis - inflammation of the white part of the eye.   This could be due to an irritant getting into the eye such as a chemical, soap, or foreign material (just last week saw something very similar to what your describing and it was 2 plant awns under the 3rd eyelid causing massive conjunctivitis). He hasn't been bathed, had anything sprayed around his face or ran in tall grass?

The swelling below the eye still is a curiosity as far as a tooth root abscess. If both of the carnasial teeth have been removed (the two large teeth in the back of the mouth - one on each side) then that does decrease the chance of it being a tooth root abscess, but doesn't eliminate it. It could be a local area of cellulitis from external trauma - do you see any punctures, scabs, loss of hair?

The rimadyl definitely could be making the swelling less painful.

Now I have to ask, he's wearing a cone? What are his problems with the left eye? That might be a part of the solution.

Dr. Bruce

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

But what about the swelling on the side of the face in front of the ear?? (I have inspected his ear and it seems okay). The area of his actual cheek - side of the "snout" is not swollen at all.


Here is the information I sent earlier that maybe you did not get?

Already Tried:
First, you should know that Dawson is currently being treated for a corneal ulcer on the OPPOSITE eye (left). He had a minor surgery to help it a few days ago and it appears to be getting somewhat better. The problem with the right eye just started Saturday morning, maybe a little watery Friday night. The only thing I have done so far is put in some of the drops that we are using in the left eye. (Tobramycin and tears)

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Sorry i forgot to answer a couple of your questions-no no bathing, it's winter here and so no running in tall grass, no chemicals around him that I know of. He had the surgery on his left eye last Monday. Went in for a check up this past Friday to be sure the contact lens is still in there and it was. Noticed nothing with the right eye at that time.


We have been *trying* to keep him releatively quiet this week because of the left eye situation, but he is a pretty energetic fellow so that is sometimes difficult.


I don't know how I missed all that on your first post!   The corneal ulcer on the left eye - did he have a conjuctival graft placed across the ulcerated area? Is he able to open the left eye up and can you see the actual globe. Just trying to get an idea of the procedure done by your vet. Your putting of the Tobramycin in the right eye is ok! It is a very good topical antibiotic for the eye. I always caution the use of eye meds with steroids in them (a drug usually ending in -sone) from a previous eye problem. The steroids can make ulcers worse. In your case though, it might be very prudent to have his right eye stained to make sure there is no ulcer developing on it (It doesn't sound like one is right now....but I've seen a few that don't present in a typical manner). If there is no ulcer, antibiotic ointment with steroid in it might help with a non-descript conjunctivitis.

As far as an emergency scenario, as long as he seems comfortable, the cornea (clear part of the eye-where a persons contact lens sits on) is clear, and the eye is not protruding out of the socket (I don't think anything you've described sounds like this) you can keep putting the Tobramycin in the right eye and recheck with your regular vet on Monday (I'm assuming he/she doesn't have Sunday hours).

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Yes on the graft of the ulcer area. Then they put a contact lens on it to reduce sensitivity and help with healing (instead of sewing the eye shut-my vet prefers the lens). His left eye actually looks very well! Better than it has in 3 weeks. The vet said that once the healing is more advanced or healed all the way that he will have us use a steroid drop, don't remember the reasoning.


I guess we will be making a trip to the vet in the am to find out what the deal is with the right eye. Thank you very much for your help, at least I know I don't need to call the emergency vet line at this time.


Can you please tell me what kind of treatment to expect if it's conjunctivitis? Then I will leave you alone!

First of all, don't worry about all the questions! I want to help you and your little one out (can you tell me what his name is?) Being a veterinarian is all about listening to clients and trying to understand their concerns, hopes, and fears. You don't get into this profession without having a knack to listen.

Glad to hear that the left eye is doing so well post surgery and placement of the lens. I too don't like to close the eye, makes it very difficult to apply meds to the eye and to evaluate how things are progressing. The steroid drops will be used once the ulcer is fully healed to reduce the opacities that have developed in the cornea from the healing of the ulcer (it will help the blood vessels to regress).

As far as treatment for the eye if its conjunctivitis - it usually is a topical antibiotic (and steroid if there is a lot of discomfort, inflammation or signs of uveitis). So your putting the tobramycin in the eye right now...keep it up. I'd put it in 3 to 4 times a day. Obivously, if he gets painful with the eye, it gets cloudy, or things get more concerning - get help sooner!   But getting to your vet tomorrow sounds like the best answer. I'm sure he/she will be glad to see how he's doing.

The swelling by the ear - hopefully they'll rule out a tooth root abscess. If the inner ear looks clear - no debris, inflamation - then a bad ear infection seems unlikely. I wish I could see the swelling first hand. Hope I've been of help!

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

My "little one's" name is XXXXX XXXXX I put little one's in quote because he is about 93 pounds :)


Thanks again for all the information, it helps for me to know that my vet did okay :) and to understand what we need to find out/do tomorrow. I will continue with the Tobramycin tonight and in the am.


I don't know exactly how this all works on Just Anwer, I probably could have sent you a photo of his face, but not sure how...I think there is an insert image command...


I will be sure to post 100% satisfaction for you too! Thanks again.

Glad to be of help.

Please feel free to hit accept and that will get you to where you can put in the 100% satisfaction.

Again, happy to hear that the left eye is doing well. Your vet sounds like he/she is doing a very good job.

Dr. Bruce

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