Dog Eyes Swollen Shut Causes and Treatment

Dog eyes swollen shut

This article discusses dog eyes swollen shut causes and treatment. We find out what could cause the eyes of your pet to swell so much to a point of getting shut and what you can do to help your pooch get relief from the same.

Dog Eyes Swollen Shut

Dog eye swelling is a problem that could arise from simple eye problems. In some cases though, it could be caused by serious medical conditions. It is not always that swelling on the eyes will result in the eyes shutting. However, a dog eyes swollen shut situation is not only uncomfortable but limiting to the dog too since they are restricted in what activities they engage in. Below we discuss what could cause swelling of the eyes shut in your dog and how to deal with each of them.

Causes and Treatments of Dog Eyes that are Swollen Shut

1.      Bee Sting

When it comes to bee stings on dogs, the face is the most vulnerable part. This is because dogs tend to investigate things with their noses putting the whole face in harm’s way.

A bee sting on a dog’s eye can lead to its getting swollen shut. Once the eye is stung, it will exhibit symptoms such as itchiness, redness, swelling and the presence of a stinger at the point of the sting. How severe the symptoms will depend on the type of bee attacking as well as the number of times the eye has been stung.

In addition to dog eyes getting swollen shut, your pooch may also experience wheezing, breathing difficulties and anaphylactic shock. These are indicative that the dog is suffering an allergic reaction from the sting. The swelling of the eye will be severe and could extend to areas beyond the point of the sting.

How to Treat Dog Eyes Swollen Shut from Bee Sting

When a bee stings, it leaves the stinger lodged in the skin of the victim. It is therefore important to get rid of the barbed stinger so as to give room for the healing of the eyes.

To remove it, use a credit card to scrape off the stinger in a diagonal angle. Where a credit card is not available, your nail or a piece of cardboard will do.

With the stinger out, it is now time to deal with the swelling so the eyes can open up. Use ice packs to soothe and numb the swollen eyes. This will help manage the pain and also constrict the blood vessels. This way flow of blood to the area of the eye that was stung is reduced which in turn reduces swelling.

Once the swelling starts to subside, concentrate on eliminating associated pain and itch. This can be attained by applying a baking soda paste to the area.

In case your dog suffers an allergic reaction from the bee sting, use allergy medication. Benadryl is common for treating allergic reactions and could be beneficial to your dog.

2.      Allergies

Dogs react in different ways when they encounter allergens. Some of the common symptoms of allergies in dogs include constant scratching on the skin, biting and licking, sneezing, a runny nose as well as swollen and watery eyes.

Allergic reactions that could see dog eyes swollen shut include contact allergy. With this, the dog reacts to things it gets into contact with. This could be detergent, fabric, lawn chemicals and cleaners. Exposure to airborne allergens such as dust and pollen could cause swelling in various parts of the body. When a dog’s eyes are swollen shut as a result of exposure to airborne allergens such as dust and pollen, the swelling could be evident in other parts of the body too. Food allergies could additionally cause swelling of the face.

Depending on products used, it is also possible for a dog to suffer swollen eyes after grooming in case it came across ingredients it is allergic to.

Dog Eyes Swollen Shut Allergy Remedies

When a dog’s eyes are swollen shut as a result of allergic reactions, the eyes will also be itchy, watery and red. To get rid of the swollen eyes from allergies, you will need to identify what allergen is causing the problem. Once you do, keep your dog away from it. Minimized exposure to allergens will reduce the chances of allergic reactions.

To quell the resulting swelling, offer allergy medicine for dogs. This may be topical or oral. Antihistamines are great at fighting the effects.  In addition, anti-inflammatory medication will help where the dog suffers inflammation and the eyes are red.

3.      Pepper Spray

Human beings carry pepper spray for defense against attacks. In most cases, dogs get pepper spray attacks from pepper who fear being approached by loose dogs such as joggers, meter readers, and mailmen.

A dog that has been pepper sprayed will experience a great deal of discomfort. It will have a burning sensation in the eyes, mucous membranes, and the nose. In addition to having swollen eyes, it will also they will be watery. He will experience difficulty in opening eyes and with time the inflammation will cause the swollen eyes to shut. They will likely whine and cry and may not want anyone going near them.

How to Help a Dog with Eyes Swollen Shut from Pepper Spray

Immediately you realize your dog has been sprayed, offer remedies to give him relief. This may not be easy as the dog may not allow you to close. Flush their eyes with water as much as you can. A hosepipe may be of help as it can allow you to flush the dog while at a distance. This will help to lessen the discomfort. Flush the dog for as long as your dog can tolerate it.

The effects of pepper spray are only temporary and normally last for 45 minutes. In case the flushing does not seem to ease the discomfort, you may need to see your veterinarian. Where the eyes still remain shut and have been burned extensively, the dog may be offered some topical ointment to relieve the discomfort.

4.      Dog Eye Injuries

Another instance where you may have dog eyes swollen shut is in case they suffer injuries. These can be caused by a number of things. This includes during play or fights with other animals, while outside digging into things or running into the woods, from dangerous projectiles as well as when dangerously riding in a car with the window open.

Simple eye injuries will easily go away while severe ones may result in serious damage such as perforation of the cornea, damage to the retina, iris or the eyelids. These are what will mostly lead to the eyes swelling shut. In such cases, a visit to the vet is necessary so that proper diagnosis on the injured eye is done and appropriate treatment offered.

5.      Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis in dogs occurs as a result of the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the white part if the eye and inner eyelids. The condition can be caused by eye injury, dry eye, airborne irritants and conditions such as feline herpesvirus and canine distemper.

A dog with conjunctivitis will exhibit symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, squinting, swollen eyelids and a thick discharge from the eyes. It is the discharge that is usually responsible for the shutting of the eyes as it glues the eyelids together. If not wiped off, the already swollen eyelids stick together. Although it goes away within no time in most cases, severe conjunctivitis could cause damage to the cornea.

6.      Others

In addition to the above, there are other reasons why your dog’s eyes may swell and whose severity could lead to dog eyes swelling shut. These are:

  • Corneal ulceration
  • Glaucoma
  • Viruses
  • Cherry eye
  • Eye inflammation

1 Comment

  1. My boxer had crazy swelling in her eyes. Found out it was because of the new bushes. Cotoneasters.

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