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Dog's Right Eye is Red and Swollen; Acting Depressed

by Mandy Rangel
(Houston, TX)

About 1 month ago I noticed my dog twitching his head to the right and occasionally scratching at the top of his right eye. When I would go to pet him on the right he would lower his head and squint his eyes. I then knew that something was wrong.

I thought maybe he had an ear infection because his right eye looked perfectly normal at the time. I took him to the vet and he gave Coppey some antibiotics for a cyst that he had by his rib cage but assured me that it would clear up anything else he had going on with his ear or eye.

After the meds there were no changes. It actually got worse. The corner inside of his eye began to cover his eyeball (not sure what that is called).

I thought maybe it was cherry eye, so I kept putting warm compress and eye drops but nothing has changed. His eyeball is pretty much completely covered now and It is red, swollen and irritated. Both lower and top inside of the eye lids are really swollen.

The only fluid coming for that eye is clear like tears. No color discharge is noted.

He has now become depressed and does not want to play or go for a walk because he can not see. He is still eating good and drinking plenty of water.

What could be going on with his eye? And what can I do to help bring the swelling down and cure him?

Coppey is a mix of Lab and American bulldog. He is 2 1/2 years old and weighs about 75 lbs. He was given to us by a coworker who could no longer care for him. We have had him for about 7 months. We got his shots 2 1/2 months ago and was given treatment for whipworms. He has completed the meds and is fine.

Comments for Dog's Right Eye is Red and Swollen; Acting Depressed

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Jun 25, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog's Right Eye is Red and Swollen; Acting Depressed
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Mandy,
Coppey should be seen by a veterinary ophthalmologist. I am concerned that he has a deeper problem inside the eye.

It appears that the entire third eyelid is swollen and edematous (cherry eye is a swelling of only the 'gland' of the third eyelid). From the photo, it also looks like the conjunctiva is inflamed on both the upper and lower eyelids. He needs to have the eye itself examined.

I am concerned that with the history of this occurring over the past month, gradually worsening, and now he is depressed, that he may have a tumor behind or inside the eye. Since he is a young dog, hopefully that is not the case. A veterinary ophthalmologist should also do a complete blood panel, and include a heartworm test.

Sorry, I am not able to advise a course of action at this time, but more of an exam needs to be done to determine a treatment.

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.

Jun 26, 2012
Update on Coppey
by: Mandy

This morning I went to get Coppey ready to take him to the vet and noticed that the inside of his mouth (tongue and gums) were completely white. He was very weak and could not walk much.

I took him to the ER and just by his signs and symptoms along with his history of things happening to him over the passed month, they concluded that Coppey had a tumor in his brain and also had signs of a stroke as well as bleeding in his brain. He was already losing his vision and could only see shadows. His heart rate was at 200.

At this point there was nothing else they could do for him. He was already dying little by little so I had to make the hardest decision to have him put to sleep.

Thank you Dr. Tillman so much for your response. I would have never known that it was that serious and I know it would have been much much harder for us if he died here at home.

Jun 27, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog's Right Eye is Red and Swollen;Acting Depressed
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Dear Mandy,

My deepest sympathy to you at this time on your loss of Coppey. That is so sad to hear that he was so ill, and at such a young age. I know that you loved him a great deal, and that you will miss him deeply.

All of us here at the Organic Pet Digest send you our deepest sympathy at this time.

Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Related Pages:
- Dog Eye Problems,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Eye Problems Section
- Canine Tumors (Dog Cancer),
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Canine Tumors/Dog Cancer Section

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