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Lab with Eye Irritation from Sand

by Kelley
(Seattle, WA)

My 9 year old lab, Bailey, is having a problem with her eye. We've been playing at the beach so I suspected she got some sand in her eye when I first noticed it two days ago. It wasn't bothering her and I figured she would push it out with her own tears.

We went back to the beach yesterday and she had tons of energy and was very playful. We washed her eye out with saline when we got back.

Later into the night and this morning her eye is looking worse and seems to be painful. She is very lethargic, which could be from her beach trip yesterday, but she typically bounces back quicker than this. I put an ace bandage on her paw so she can't scratch her eye.

I originally thought that it was just a piece of sand that was causing irritation. I am now wondering if it could be conjunctivitis.

I should mention that she was diagnosed with cancer in September, a synovial cell sarcoma in her back right hock. I can't imagine this is related other than just general immunity. Since her diagnosis she has had a more difficult time bouncing back from ear infections, etc.

I will take her into my vet tomorrow, but in the meantime, what natural treatments can I use to make her more comfortable and hopefully begin healing?

Comments for Lab with Eye Irritation from Sand

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Jan 03, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Lab with Eye Irritation from Sand
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

January 3, 2014

Hi Kelley,
From the photo you sent, with the severe squinting, drainage, and swelling of the eyelids, I am suspicious that she may have a scratch on the cornea of her eye from the sand. Your veterinarian will be able to confirm this by putting a few drops of a fluorescein dye into her eye to highlight the scratch.

In the meantime, more flushing is indicated with saline solution to make sure all of the sand is removed three times today, and in between that you can put 2-3 drops of olive oil or sweet almond oil, into her eye. This may provide some lubrication, and soothe her cornea until she can be examined. If she is TOO painful for you to treat her at home, it may be best to make an 'emergency' drop in to your veterinarian who can put some topical numbing solution (proparacaine drops) into her eye to give her some immediate relief.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
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Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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