It’s scary when you wake up one morning to find your dog’s eyes are shut. Who wouldn’t worry!
Most of the time, your dog’s tears work just fine to clean away foreign objects, bacteria, and more. Tears and blinking are part of the eye’s cleaning process. But sometimes, a problem can develop that causes the eyes to swell.
What Causes Swollen Eyes in Dogs?
The medical name for this condition is blepharitis, and it’s caused by inflammation, which leads to swelling of the eyes. Blepharitis can be caused by a wide range of problems including:
- Fungal infection
- Scratch cornea
- Problems with the tear ducts
- Foreign object in the eye
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Dogs who have skin folds on the face (eyelids that point inward)
- Underlying health issues
- And more
Symptoms of Blepharitis (Swollen Eyes) in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has swollen eyes:
- Discharge from the eyes (mucus or pus)
- Red, swollen eyes
- Sneezing and coughing
- Puffy eyes, which may be red
- Repetitive blinking
- Withdrawing or hiding
- Pawing at the eyes
- Nasal discharge
If your dog has swollen eyes, then it’s time to call the vet. Because this condition can be caused by so many issues, it’s important to have your dog checked out as soon as possible. There are some health issues that can lead to blindness.
Treatment of Swollen Eyes in Dogs
At the vet’s, they will give your dog a physical, paying close attention to his eyes. To better examine the eyes, the vet may need to numb your fur baby’s eyes with an anesthetic to ease discomfort. This makes it easier to check the eyes for foreign objects or even signs of injury. Another test is a fluorescent stain, which can help the vet to see if the cornea has been injured.
Treatment will depend on the vet’s diagnosis. For instance, if a foreign object is found in the eye, the vet will remove it. If your dog is suffering from allergies, the vet may prescribe an antihistamine, along with eye drops to reduce the inflammation.
Dogs who have an eye infection will be treated with oral and eye antibiotics. Or if the red eyes are caused by a fungal infection, the vet will prescribe an anti-fungal ointment to help the eyes heal.
There are some conditions that may require surgery if medications haven’t cleared up the swollen eyes.
In most cases, dogs that receive medical treatment for swollen eyes will make a full recovery.