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Dog keeping eye closed and third eyelid covering half of eye

by Dawn Atkinson
(Salisbury, MA)

left eye

left eye

left eye
left eye closed, right eye with third eye lid

We noticed our 10 year old hound mix, Luke keeping his right eye closed earlier today. No problem prior to that. We assumed that he had something in it so I took a look but couldn't find anything.

Then we thought our other dog, 2 year old shepherd/collie mix, Lilly might have scratched him or something while playing. A couple of hours after we noticed the eye closing, we then noticed the third eye lid coming up and covering half his eye.

When we tried to open the eye to get a photo for this submission, he'd roll his eye up and the third eye lid would also come up even higher. We are now noticing the third eye lid coming up on the opposite eye.

He does not appear to be in pain. He lets me touch it (i.e. running my hand over this face, but trys to pull away if I hold his muzzle to try and get a better look. He is not rubbing his face on the carpet or his paws. He will perk up if I ask him if he wants a bone, albeit with a drunk-eyed look.

What could this be and should I call the vet ASAP?

Comments for Dog keeping eye closed and third eyelid covering half of eye

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Jun 20, 2012
My Online Vet Response For: Dog Keeping eye closed and third eyelid covering half of eye
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Dawn,
From your photo of Luke (10 year old hound mix), he seems like either he was very 'laid back' or he is lethargic when you took the picture. As both eyes seem to be affected, I would be concerned about something systemic affecting him.

Was he recently vaccinated? This could be a vaccine reaction or possibly a neurologic disease, Lyme Disease, or a tumor near or on the Optic nerve/chiasm. I cannot tell from the photo if his pupils are constricted or dilated, if his lymph nodes are swollen, or if he has a fever.

I would advise an appointment as soon as possible for a general exam, plus a total blood panel including a tick panel (for Lyme Disease) heartworm test and a fecal (take a stool sample).

At this point, just looking at the photo, I do not know if he should be referred to an ophthalmologist or a neurologist, so it would be best to start with a general check up first. And always consider a holistic veterinarian as a first choice. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed based on the symptom of the patient, not on a diagnosis of a disease (especially in those cases where they have no diagnosis!).

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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