Swollen Eyelid in Dog—What Does It Mean?


If your dog has swollen eyelid, you must immediately administer it first aid. In many cases, the problem admits of solving on your own, when the swelling of eyelids is not related to inflammatory process, when they do not redden yet, and there is tearing. Besides, if a dog experiences pain, it will negatively react to your touches to the swollen eyelid. Here we consider the most frequent reasons for the swelling of a dog’s eye. These include conjunctivitis, blepharitis, entropion, different allergic reactions, barley, eye tumor, and insect bites. Some of them are serious, the other can be healed on your own by using usual remedies. Let’s have a closer look at what each of them presents.

The Main Causes

Swollen lower eyelid on dog is not a norm (neither is the upper one—it doesn’t matter). The condition of eyelids remains the same regardless of various hormonal changes and so on. Thus, if a lid of your dog is swollen, you have to find the cause of this phenomenon, and as soon as possible.


This is the major cause of swollen eyelid not only in dogs but also in all other animals. In severe cases, the disease is purulent. The first manifestations of the disease which are noticeable even before the swelling of the eye is tearing and itching. Because of them, the dog constantly rubs its face on objects and tries to scratch the eye with its paw. Treatment is carried out by using special drops for the eyes, which include antibiotics. One of the most efficient drugs is ciprolet. Apart from this, it is advisable to wipe the eyes of your dog with cold decoction of calendula (1 tbsp to 1 cup of boiling water).


Blepharitis is the inflammation of eyelids. If your dog has its eye swollen for this reason, the swelling will be so severe that the pet will almost completely cease to open its eyes, and it may seem that it was bitten by bees. The animal begins to hide in the dark place, as light causes only discomfort and pain. Permanent itching leads to the fact that the pet is constantly rubbing its eyes, and sometimes it is so intense that there appear sores on the eyelids. Treatment is eye drops with antibiotics and eye antibiotic ointments. Eyes are washed with saline.


In this problem the edge of the eyelid turns inside, and damages the cornea of the eye, it becomes inflamed and causes the swelling of an eyelid. The dog has active discharge of pus. Swelling of eyelids can be from moderate to strong. The inflammation is removed with antibiotics and lavage of the eye. Further treatment is surgical, in which the lid is fixed in the normal position with sutures. Launched entropion leads to very strong swelling and serious decrease in vision of the pet up to blindness.

Allergic Reaction

It occurs quite often and causes inflammation of the eyelids, and in severe cases of the whole face, including the nose. Causes of allergies are numerous. The most common are:

  • intolerance to any food;
  • pollen;
  • chemicals and cigarette smoke.

For removing the swelling it is urgent to give the animal suprastin, which is dosed by weight. For large breeds, the dosage is the same as for a human.


Inflammation of the hair follicle on the eyelid, for which there appears an abscess in dogs is not uncommon. If a there is swollen bottom eyelid on dog, the probability that it is barley is 90%. Inflammation appears most often in the cold season. It is common disease in hunting dogs that frequently swim in cold water, due to which there is a decrease in immunity. Barley features a strong pain, and because of this the animal is reluctant for you to touch it. The treatment is conducted with application of antibiotic eye ointments. In rare cases, barley requires surgery.

Eye Tumor

Sometimes eyelids of a dog begin to swell on account of the tumor of eye when it disturbs through its pressure the blood circulation and lymph flow. In this case, surgical treatment is necessary.

Insect Bites

This situation takes place in warm time of the year, when wasps, bees and horse flies are most active. There is no swelling because of mosquitoes and fleas, if an animal is not allergic to it. Therefore, if eyelids after the bite begin to swell up and even blush, if they get hot when touched, then in such cases we can speak about allergies. Touching the affected area causes pain, owing to which the animal does not allow its owner to examine it. First and foremost, the injured dog needs to be given antihistamine (if there are no special veterinary medicines, then suprastin will do). To accelerate getting rid of the swelling of the eyelid, you need to apply to it a clean cloth dampened with cold water. So as not to chill the eyes, keep the compress no more than two minutes, then take a break for one minute and apply it again. You need to apply the cloth about fifteen times, no more. In one-two days the swelling disappears.

Photo of Swollen Eyelid in Dog

dog has swollen eyelid in dog swollen eyelid swollen bottom eyelid in dog swollen eyelids in dog

When in the house there are other pets except for a dog with which it actively plays, the swelling may be associated with injury. If a dog has a swollen upper eyelid after the games, then most likely it is injured. As far as the lower eyelid is concerned, it is damaged much less frequently. Such damage should be treated by using a topical antibiotic cream that is approved for use in the eye area.

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