Help! My Dog Has A Swollen Eye

Here’s what to do if you notice swelling 🚑

dog swollen eye

It can be a little unsettling that moment you realize one of your dog’s eyes doesn’t look quite how it usually does.

And if your dog’s got a swollen eye, you might be wondering what to do.

We spoke with Anmarie Moucha, a registered veterinary nurse with DodoVet, who explained how dogs get swollen eyes and why you should call your vet right away if this ever happens.

Why is my dog’s eye swollen?

There are a ton of reasons why your dog’s eye might be swollen.

“The list of causes for swollen or irritated eyes is nearly endless,” Moucha told The Dodo. “The cause can be determined by some other symptoms (discharge, swelling, redness, squinting) as well as diagnostic testing.”

Some causes include:

Your vet will be able to determine what’s causing the swelling in your dog’s eye either by examining other symptoms he has or running diagnostic tests.

How serious is my dog’s swollen eye?

The severity of your dog’s swollen eye will depend on what’s causing the swelling. In most cases, it’s best to bring your pup straight to the vet.

“If your dog has swollen, red or irritated eyes, it is always best to consult your veterinarian,” Moucha said. “Some causes may be minor, but others could pose a serious health risk.”

According to Moucha, it’s best to err on the side of caution, especially when you're talking about your dog’s eye health.

“If a problem goes on too long, it could cause your pet to need surgery or even eye removal,” Moucha said. “As soon as you notice any abnormalities with your pet's eyes, please contact your vet for an appointment. If they cannot see your dog within two or three days, I suggest a trip to the emergency vet.”

Dog swollen eye treatment

The best treatment for a dog’s swollen eye is bringing him to a vet, who can administer treatment based on the cause of the swelling.

“Most eye issues can be treated with medicated eye drops,” Moucha said. “Some infections need oral medications as well. Sometimes surgery may be necessary.”

There are also a couple things you can do to help at home.

“Prevent them from bothering the eye any more,” Moucha said. “It may mean wearing a cone or e-collar. If there is any discharge and your pet lets you, you may be able to use a clean washcloth wet with warm water to gently wipe away any discharge from the eye.”

How to prevent your dog from getting a swollen eye

There are a few things you can do to prevent your dog from getting a swollen eye, including:

  • Stay on top of your dog’s dental care.
  • Avoid strong scents that may be irritating.
  • Bring your dog for regular vet visits (especially if he already has eye issues like glaucoma or eyelid abnormalities).

Your dog’s eyes are so important. So if you notice your dog’s got a swollen eye, the best thing you can do is hit up your vet to get it checked out ASAP.

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.

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