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9 month old puppy mix with pink slightly swollen third eyelid

by Amy C.
(Sandy, UT )

Last Friday (6 days ago) when I woke up, I noticed my 9 month old lab/hound mix rescue (Bodhi) had a slightly swollen left third eyelid. This was after a solid rough housing episode with our other dog the night before.

Naturally, I have searched the Internet high & low for answers prior to rushing him to vet. I am no animal doc, but it doesn't seem to be cherry eye (or at least a bad case of it)... maybe allergy, irritation/scratch from playing with our other child or minor prolapsed third eyelid???

I am trying to not jump to conclusions or panic but I worry. His other eye is fine, the rest of the left (bad) eye is white & clear. The part that is swollen is slightly swollen, bright pink (not red) & not impeding vision or coming up & over/out on the eye really at all.

Bodhi does not have any more than usual eye production, he usually gets some minor eye boogers from playing outside (grass, dirt, hikes). It has not worsened over the course of the week, I think it may even seem a little better, but hard to tell since I'm obsessing :)

He is bright, energetic, eating, playful & in normal spirits. He has not been scratching at it, rubbing or paying it any mind. I'm way more worried about it then he is!

Appreciate any thoughts, and or preliminary diagnoses...and what are your recommendations based on this? Do I take Bodhi to a vet and is there anything I can/should do to help?

My only action so far has been to keep an eye on it and to make a few attempts at putting some saline solution in.

Thanks for your help.


Comments for 9 month old puppy mix with pink slightly swollen third eyelid

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Aug 31, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: 9 month old puppy mix with pink slightly swollen third eyelid
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Amy,

You have diagnosed Bodhi's eye problem very well. From the photos you sent, I believe that it is a mild 'cherry' eye or prolapsed gland of the third eyelid.

If these glands are displaced above the third eyelid, they will tend to dry out when exposed to air. Keeping the area moisturized will help to shrink them, so that they will return to the 'normal hidden' position.

Saline is a nice moisturizer, but to really help decrease the swelling and inflammation, you can use Sweet Almond Oil. Put 2-3 drops into that eye THREE times daily for the next 5 days.

If the gland persists in the same position, it may need to be 'manually' replaced. This can be done in the vet office, by instilling a topical anesthetic into the eye, and then using a blunt forcep to raise the margin of the third eyelid, the gland should slip back into place.

If the problem returns again and again, you might seek the help of a holistic veterinarian to treat for 'chronic' illness called 'vaccinosis', a condition caused by too many vaccinations, or vaccinations given at too young an age.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Eye Problems,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Eye Problems Section

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