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Dog with Swollen Eyelids and Watery Eyes

by Susan Beaumont
(Mesa, AZ, USA)





My dog's eyelids are swollen, his eye waters (the left is worse than the right), he scratches at it, will scratch the skin off and get scabs, and he squints. The skin will swell and cut open.

He looks like sometimes he can't see out of it. There is a small lump right above his eye.

There are black spots on the skin. There is white around his eye but I don't know if it is pus. His eyelid curls up into his eye. I am afraid I am just making it worse.

He is a two year old male neutered Chihuahua Pekingese mix. I have had him since he was six weeks old. We have another dog, a German shepherd mix, and three cats. We moved into a new home in June, 2010. He didn't have eye problems before we moved into this home.

I have tried homeopathic eye drops, allergy eye drops, changed his dog food, tried Arnica cream on the outside of his eye, antibiotic cream on the outside. It seems to get better and then gets worse again.

I am on disability for cancer and do not have the money to take him to the vet. Someone suggested that he might have a worm burrowed into his skin around his eye. We opened his eye and it looked like something might have gotten into his eye and then worked its way into his skin.

We do not smoke (just in case smoke is a potential cause).

Thanks, Susan Beaumont

Comments for Dog with Swollen Eyelids and Watery Eyes

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Feb 18, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog with Swollen Eyelids and Watery Eyes
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hello Susan,
As a holistic veterinarian, it will be difficult for me to treat your dogs' eyes from the description and history you submitted. (See our page on Alternative Medicine for Dogs for more information about holistic treatment). Holistic veterinarians need to know more about the patient than just the 'problem' at hand. And, from the description of the problem, it has been chronic, possibly for over 6 months. I can certainly help with 'supportive' care, but he will need to be seen by a veterinarian in person, either holistic or conventional for a diagnosis.

Since he has been itching and scratching his eyes and the eye area, the problem may be due to an allergy. Also, he may have scratched his cornea when itching due to the allergy, and now he has a corneal ulcer, making everything worse.

The 'dog eye worms' you were referring to are called Thelazia. They are usually found in outdoor dogs that have flies buzzing around their faces. The worms are about 1-2 inches long and would be seen when you pull down the eyelids like you did one of the photos. Treatment is done by manually removing the worms using a forcep to lift the worms out of the eye. Then provide protection from flies or use fly control outside.

I have never seen them in a small breed, especially if they are mostly indoors, and there would be fewer flies in the winter.

You did not say what kind of food you were feeding him, or what food he used to eat. In general, I would suggest avoiding DRY food, and feed canned and/or a raw diet. This would be much healthier for him. See our page on Raw Natural Dog Food for more information.

You did not mention if the problem started after a vaccination, which may have been given to him at the same time you moved. If this is the case, then treatment for vaccinosis would be important.

For now, you will need to continually rinse/flush both eyes with a saline solution (you can make this at home by adding 1/4 tsp sea salt to 1 cup of distilled or filtered water). Do this VERY frequently, every 2-3 hours (let him sleep during the night), for the first 1-2 days. This will help remove any debris, discharge, and help to 'cool' off or decrease the inflammation in the conjunctiva.

TO BE CONTINUED ON PART 2.

Feb 18, 2011
PART 2 My Online Vet Response for Dog with Swollen Eyelids and Watery Eyes
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

PART 2- OF DOG WITH SWOLLEN EYELIDS

To really clean out the eye, you may have to put the saline into a plastic bottle with a spout, and actually squirt a 'stream' of saline into the inner corner of his eye or pull down the lower lid area to squirt it there.

After 48 hours, you will only need to rinse or flush his eyes every 8 hours, or 3 times daily. After each flush, then apply 2 drops of cod liver oil into his eye, three times daily. According to Dr. Richard Pitcairn, in Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, "The oil has protective functions, and the Vitamin A in it will stimulate healing." He also recommends adding 1/8 tsp of Cod Liver Oil to the food two times daily, and Vit E 100 IU (you may have to pierce the capsule and squeeze it into the food) daily.

Your dog may need to wear a 'cone' or E-Collar, around his neck. Check out Trimline soft E-Collars. This will help to prevent him from causing more trauma to his eyes.

You can also click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area.

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

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

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

Aug 19, 2011
Same dog issue
by: Anonymous

My dog has a similar problem. How long do I continue with the cod liver oil drops in his eyes?

Aug 21, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog with Swollen Eyelids and Watery Eyes
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Dear Anonymous,
You wrote,
How long do I continue with the Cod Liver oil drops in his eyes?

Thanks for your question. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Sep 22, 2011
swollen watering eye
by: Anonymous

my puppy's eye is swollen, watering and has discharge coming out of it, when she opens it it looks all cloudy and gray.... I dont kow what happen its been like this for 2 days now, what should I do to help her?

Sep 24, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog with Swollen Eyelids and Watery Eyes
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Dear Anonymous,
Please take your dog to a veterinarian. From your description it sounds like an infection/inflammation of the cornea.

I do want to thank for your question. And I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Jun 16, 2013
Dog has similar symptoms. NEW
by: Anonymous

My 1 1/2 yr maltipoo woke up this morning with an irritated eye. It was swollen larger than the other. she keeps it closed but is able to open it and is very watery and she rubs on it. Should i start the saline wash? She is still active as normal just irritated with her eye.

Jun 16, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with Swollen Eyelids and Watery Eyes NEW
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

June 16, 2013

Dear Anonymous,
Thanks for your question. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).

But from the description of your problem, and no photo, I am VERY suspicious that your dog has an insect bite or sting that has caused the swelling. Please take your dog to an emergency clinic ASAP!

Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Aug 05, 2013
Only 1 Swollen eye NEW
by: Jakkii

Hi
I got home from work this morning and noticed my dog had a swollen left eye. when i looked only one eye was swollen and a little more closed then the other, she had a little bit of blood under her eye when i looked, the fur around her eye has also gone really thin? she is a mini shitzu so she's quite fluffy. She is still acting the same but i want to know why this has happened?

Aug 05, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with Swollen Eyelids and Watery Eyes NEW
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

August 5, 2013

Hi Jakkii,

From your description without a photo, it is difficult to tell you exactly what the problem might be. I suspect she may have been stung on the eyelid by a bee or wasp.

Please take her to an Emergency clinic ASAP to have her checked. She may have scratched her cornea while she was rubbing her eye, causing even more problems.

And while I am happy to help, we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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