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Dog Eye Redness and Swelling That Makes It Appear Droopy

by Deborah
(Anchorage, AK.)

Patch's Eye

Patch's Eye

My dog's eye symptoms first appeared yesterday (3-28): Left eye very red (where it should be white). No abnormal oozing or other discharge. Slight swelling on lower edge of eye making appear droopy.

Has a history of spring allergies that cause her to breath in and out repeatedly with some slight eye redness and was advised to give over the counter allergy antihistamine (chlorpheniramine malemate 4 mg 2X/daily) which I started yesterday. I also flushed the eye with multipurpose lens solution 3 times a day since yesterday and followed the eye flush with Refresh Lubricant eye drops.

This episode of eye redness is more severe than the normal allergy related eye redness. She does not scratch at her eye as if it is itchy or rub at it in any way. She does not appear to be in pain.

This is a mixed breed dog, spayed female, 11.5 yrs old, 65 pounds. We live in Anchorage, Alaska where she was born and have had her since she was 8 weeks old.

Should I continue with the eye flush or introduce a medicated eye drop or some other treatment?

Comments for Dog Eye Redness and Swelling That Makes It Appear Droopy

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Mar 30, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Eye redness and Swelling that Makes it appear Droopy
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Deborah,

Unfortunately the photo you submitted of Patch's eye is so blurry and out of focus that I am unable to differentiate if she has:'cherry eye' (which is an enlargement of the gland of the third eyelid), conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva of the lower eyelid due to bacteria, virus, or foreign matter such as pollen) or chemosis of the conjunctiva (this is edema of the conjunctiva due to a severe trauma, or allergic reaction).

You wrote that you were "advised to give an over the counter anti-histamine (chlorpheneramine 4mg) and to flush with multi-purpose lens solution followed by Refresh lubricant eye drops."

Was this advice from a veterinarian?

Contact lens solution has numerous antiseptics in the ingredients. I would be concerned that if Patch's eye is already inflamed and irritated, I would not want to irritate it any further. A safer product to use would be over the counter SALINE (Which is basically salt water).

Refresh lubricant eye drops are useful in cases of dry eye, when the cornea lacks adequate moisture. Even from the blurry photo you submitted, Patches' eye looks like she has plenty of moisture running out of it! I do not think the Lubricant drops would be necessary.

As for Chlorpheneramine anti-histamine, I have sometimes found it useful to use in cats, but a far more effective anti-histamine in dogs is either Benadryl, 1mg/lb 2-3 times daily) or Atarax (1mg/lb 2-3 times daily). That is IF her problem is due to an allergy, and if it is, then there are better holistic treatments that can be done.

If possible, would you be able to send another photo? Also, please let me know if she has had any recent vaccinations (THIS would certainly affect her immune system) and let me know what you feed her.

Even better, seek the help of a holistic veterinarian that can advise you, by seeing Patches 'in person'!

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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