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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7724
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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My dog's right eye is swollen almost shut. Entire area

Customer Question

Hi. My dog's right eye is swollen almost shut. Entire area around eye socket is swollen. Underneath top eyelid is blood red and swollen. His temperament is otherwise normal. Is this an emergency?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Blue is about 12. He is a mutt, perhaps a Rott mix.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Blue?
Customer: He is on tramadol for knee pain for about one week. He was on amoxicillin for about one week for face swelling which ended yesterday. This occurred in the past 12 hours.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Good morning and thank you for your question. I am a Veterinary Nurse with over 15 years experience and I have assisted in the care of many pets with this particular medical concern. It would be my pleasure to assist you today. Is it possible for me to obtain some additional information from you about your companion?

1) Can you please attach a photograph of the eye itself?
2) When did this begin?
3) Is he rubbing this area?
4) Any history of allergies or other medical conditions?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I've tried to attached three photos. It would have occurred in the past 12 hours but we just noticed it this morning one hour ago. He is not rubbing the area. It appears tender to the touch. No other significant medical history. He does play outside but is a house dog.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Poor kid. That certainly is swollen.

Most commonly during the summer months we see that periorbital swelling is due to an allergic reaction to something. That being said, the medial canthus and the conjunctival tissue is bright red so this could potentially be due to something else.

Here are the steps I would take:

1) Give 1-2mg/pound of body weight of benadryl orally every 8-12 hours until symptoms reside. If you do not see a marked improvement by the 8 hour mark, move on to step 2.
2) Have an examination performed to be sure that there is nothing that has injured the eye or is contained within the eye that could be causing the symptoms. Sometimes a small piece of dirt or debris can be caught under an eyelid and cause pretty significant swelling.

The swelling itself should begin to reside within just a few hours of receiving benadryl. If this doesn't happen, the eye needs to be examined.

If, at any time, he starts rubbing the eye, make sure to place an e-collar on him so that the eye is protected from further injury or irritation. If you don't have one at home, you can make one from this youtube video:

If I can help further, please let me know.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. My dog will let me touch the area but not let me ice it. The swelling surrounds the eye socket but the redness seems to be located on the upper eyelid toward the inside as seen in the photos. Any additional advice from your perspective?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Once the swelling goes down, he should be more willing to allow you to handle it. Icing it alone is not going to fix whatever the underlying cause might have been (or might be), so its okay if that doesn't happen at this time. I'd start with the benadryl immediately so he gets some relief if this is an allergic reaction.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Checking in. How is Blue's eye today?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for checking in. The Benadryl was not helpful so by the end of the day we took him to the ER. CBC, chemistry, and clotting time mostly normal. Limited ultrasound showed nothing. Left with steroid eye drops which have helped significantly with the swelling but we thought we'd lose him the last two nights. There is almost certainly an underlying disease process working. We need to make some hard decisions.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

I'm glad that you guys opted to head to the ER. Please let me know if I can provide any additional support.