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Dog eye redness, bulging eye and outside swelling

by Tina Martinez
(Ponderosa, New Mexico)

Our dog's eye has redness, bulging and outside swelling. Some background: He was kicked once in the stomach by a cow when he was about a year old. Since that incident occurred, his behavior seemed to change although he did not have any physical ailments from the incident.

Rowdy is a 3 year old Australian Shepard/Blue Heeler mix dog that is either extremely happy, constant licker and jumper or he is not interacting at all, choosing to sleep in his dog house all day long with no activity. There seems to be no middle mood with him. Although he does interact with his brother, Dice and our other dog, Bud, the activity has seemed to decrease steadily over time.

Once he got neutered, the interaction with his brother and our other dog seemed to get a little worse. He has become extremely territorial over his food and the water bucket, only occasionally letting his brother Dice share but not very often. Rowdy never learned to bark. He will just growl really loud if the other dogs go near his food or the trash can.

It seems as though when he does chase something, like a bird or rabbit, he may have gotten poked in his eye by some brush or a fence or something because I started noticing redness around the white part of his eye. There has not been any abnormal discharge and no loss of fur around his eye. The bulging part seems to be getting worse but isolated to that area. He also has a lot of swelling on the external part of the eye in that area.

Something you must also know about Rowdy is that he recently had a dog seizure. I ran outside thinking there were pack dogs howling nearby and it was Rowdy crying, laying on the porch stiff with his tongue hanging all the way out on one side and eyes opened widely. He stayed that way for maybe a few minutes but seemed like forever!

He stopped crying when I got there but still laid there unchanged for a little while longer. I shoved my fingers in his throat thinking he was choking on a rib bone I had just given all three dogs, but nothing. A few minutes later he started to lick me and tried getting up and seemed really stiff. I checked his gums and they were all white to pale pink. After about 10 minutes, it was like nothing happened. Good color in gums, ate and drank fine and got hyper trying to lick my face off, seeming happy.

I am not sure if the eye condition was the cause as I think he has had one seizure before this about 6 months ago. During that first seizure, he just laid there for a few minutes and was unresponsive to my calling. But that was it. No crying or difficulty getting up etc.

Please let me know what his condition might be regarding his eye and if you think his last seizure could be stemming from this eye condition. Any advice is greatly appreciated! I lost my last dog, Pepper when she was just 3 years old and don't want to lose another dog! Just want him happy and healthy! Thanks in advance!

Comments for Dog eye redness, bulging eye and outside swelling

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Jun 16, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog eye rednes, bulging eye and outside swelling
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Tina,
From the photo you submitted of Rowdy, the scleral swelling may be from 'lipid' (fat) infiltrates in the eye, which is a benign condition, or something more serious called scleritis. I am unable to differentiate from the photo, and I would suggest taking him to a veterinary ophthalmologist for further testing to diagnose the problem. Scleritis can be caused by Toxoplamosis, Lyme Disease in dogs, glaucoma, or other problems. In humans, scleritis can cause severe headaches. I am not sure if Rowdy's behavior might be due to 'headache' pain.

He has a very interesting history, and I would like to add some comments. You mentioned that at one year of age a cow had kicked him in the stomach (a severe physical trauma), and he had never been well since. In Homeopathic treatments, that comment is VERY important, "never well since". In many cases, the curative remedy is the one that would be used for that initiating cause.

He has issues dealing with his 'pack mates' more territorial, irritable (growls not barks), and vacillates between happy, playful and friendly to withdrawn, morose and sad. No in-between emotions. And this was worse after neutering (another physical trauma.)

Now, you mention that 6 months ago he had a generalized seizure, and quickly recovered, and more recently another generalized seizure, which took him longer to recover. Seizures are a result of a change or disruption in the electrical pathways that occur in a normal wave pattern across the brain. Scar tissue, parasites, low blood sugar, liver disease or dog epilepsy can trigger a seizure.

The changes in his eye, may be an indication of a more serious internal problem that has resulted in a seizure. Therefore, having him checked by an ophthalmologist for a diagnosis would be of paramount importance.


Jun 16, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Eye redness, bulging eye and outside swelling PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Tina,
Here is the rest of my response.

In the meantime, I would suggest ONE dose of Arnica montana, 200C potency. This can be ordered online, or you can seek out a holistic veterinarianto prescribe it. To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

You did not mention of what type of food he is eating, but I would suggest checking out our page on the 10 Best Dog Food options, and scroll down to the raw dog food diets. If Rowdy has a more serious condition, he needs to be on the healthiest diet possible to help him heal. DRY FOOD is NOT healthy!

Also, DO NOT give him ANY vaccinations while he is sick. Even if RABIES vaccine is due this year, seek out a holistic veterinarian to write an exemption form to AVOID vaccinating him.

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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