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Third Eyelid Swelling in Dog

by Ann King
(Oakland, CA, USA)

Gracie's swollen third lid

Gracie's swollen third lid

My cocker spaniel has a swollen third eyelid in the corner of her eye. It appeared last night.


She is about three years old, under 25 pounds, active, runs in the woods, eats dry food and chicken strips. We also have three cats and a mellow Rottweiler mix.

How should I treat her swollen 3rd eyelid?

Comments for Third Eyelid Swelling in Dog

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Mar 10, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Third Eyelid Swelling in Dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Ann,
Gracie has a condition called 'Cherry Eye' or a prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid.

This is not painful, and was not caused by trauma. It is a common condition in the Cocker Spaniel, usually due to hereditary, and is caused by the cartilage in the third eyelid being too weak. It will bend over backwards, allowing the gland to pop up and become visible.

In some cases, a surgery can be done to 'tack' down the gland so it will stay underneath the third eyelid. This is better than the older surgery of removing the gland. Since part of the function of the gland is to provide tears to the cornea, if the gland is surgically removed, there is a chance that eye may develop 'dry eye' because of insufficient tears.

The best treatment would be nutritional support for the cartilage, lubrication for the cornea, and treating her with homeopathic remedies.

Seeking the help of a homeopathic veterinarian, and there are quite a few in the Oakland/east Bay and San Francisco area, would be best. Improving her diet (see our page on the 10 Best Dog food options), consider a transition to a raw diet for her, NO DRY food!

And consider the addition of Canine Whole Body Support, from Standard Process, and Mega C powder from Orthomolecular Specialities. If that eye looks red or inflamed, you can add 2-3 drops of olive oil into her eye several times a day for lubrication.

In addition to the above, a holistic veterinarian will take her case, and evaluate her as a whole individual. Her likes and dislikes, any cravings, phobias, past illnesses, past vaccinations (see our page on alternative medicine for dogs ) will help to determine the correct homeopathic remedy for her.

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

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.


Mar 10, 2011
Thank you
by: Ann

By the time I got home from work, her eye was better. I wondered if you guys did distant healing. We will check out your advice. Changes in diet are a lot cheaper than surgery.

Mar 13, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Third Eyelid Swelling in Dog
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Ann,
That is great news. It sounds like she only has a 'mild' case of Cherry Eye. In which case, nutritional support may be all she will need to help her improve.

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

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