Dog’s Eyes Are Red and Swollen Shut – Top 3 Reasons Why

If you have noticed your dog’s eyes are red and swollen shut it’s going to cause you quite a bit of concern. There are some minor issues that might be causing this redness and swelling, but it also could be a sign of something more serious. A few of the most common reasons for your dog’s eyes to be red and swollen shut are below, along with what you can and should do about the issue.

1. Eye Irritation from Foreign Object

If your dog’s eyes are red and swollen shut, it’s likely a foreign object got into his eyes. Any irritant such as dust, pollen, or dirt can cause severe eye irritation and is considered a foreign object. You might notice eye watering, redness, rubbing at the eye, and excessive blinking if a foreign object is in the eye.

Foreign objects can cause fungal infections, bacterial infections, and trauma to the eye if not removed so going to the veterinarian right away is important. Your veterinarian will want to ensure that there isn’t a tear or laceration that needs immediate treatment. A small scratch on the cornea might be the only damage done, and a collar might be prescribed to keep your dog from digging at his eyes. Tears and lacerations can develop into an infection if not treated correctly, so these issues need to be treated promptly to prevent further damage.

2. Injury to the Cornea

A dog that has red eyes that are swollen shut could have an injury to the cornea. This could be caused by many things such as a foreign object getting into the eye and scratching the surface of the eye. A piece of grass, sand, and other environmental particles could be the culprit. Other injuries could be the result of a toy or other object poking them in the eye, or being injured by another animal.

Having eyelid defects that cause scratches on the cornea when the eye opens and shuts . Conjunctivitis could also cause injury to the cornea. It’s important that you seek veterinary care as soon as possible if you suspect a cornea injury because left untreated this could cause long-term damage to the eyes and could severely impact vision.

3. Your Dog Has an Eye Infection

Conjunctivitis, which is known as pink eye, is a common issue when there is an eye infection. Eye infections can happen as the result of a foreign object getting into the eye, allergies, and many other causes. Swollen eyes are common with conjunctivitis and other behavioral and physical symptoms also will appear.

Other symptoms of eye irritation from an object include sneezing, squinting, nasal discharge, inactivity, and withdrawal from social situations. Conjunctivitis goes into different categories including allergic conjunctivitis. In this case, allergy medications are given and it will usually clear up within a few days.

Viral conjunctivitis is more serious and it’s also contagious to other dogs. This type of conjunctivitis can take up to 30 days to clear up. Bacterial conjunctivitis is also contagious and usually the veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics for this as well as steroids.

How Do I Treat My Dog’s Red Eye?

You never want to use human eye drops or other products on your dog. Seek veterinary care right away because your veterinarian will know the best course of action. Treatment for this issue will depend on the cause of it, such as an infection or foreign object in the eye. The veterinarian might prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, allergy medications, steroids, and pain medications to see if that will solve the issue. In circumstances where glaucoma or other eye disorders are to blame, more invasive treatments such as an immediate surgery might be required.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


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