My Dog’s or Cat’s Eye is Swollen, What Should I Do?

It’s important that you seek veterinary attention as soon as possible if you notice any swelling of your pet’s eye. This is an emergency situation, as it can be a sign of a number of dangerous conditions for your dog or cat.

What causes swollen eyes in dogs and cats?

Swelling can be caused by a few different things, and in some instances, can be a sign of an underlying condition. Additionally, in certain situations, the swelling can cause blindness, and can even be life-threatening. Some common causes for swollen eyes in dogs and cats may include:

  • An allergic reaction (this can be from an inhaled allergen or from a food allergy), often involving additional swelling of the lip(s) and face
  • A bee sting to the eye (can also cause swelling of the lip(s) and face)
  • An injury to the eye or eyelid
  • An infection of the eye or eyelid
  • A corneal abrasion, irritation or scratch
  • Glaucoma 

What should I do if my dog or cat has a swollen eye?

Again, if you have a dog or cat with a swollen eye, this is an emergency condition, and we encourage you to seek immediate veterinary care.

In addition to suffering caused by any underlying conditions, the swelling itself can be very painful and/or itchy for your pet. Until you can get to your veterinarian, you can use an E-collar, which is a protective cone that your pet wears around its neck, can be of great help with preventing any additional scratching or rubbing.

Early diagnosis and treatment of the swelling can help improve the prognosis and increase the number of treatment options available to your pet. This is why it is very important to take your dog or cat to your local pet hospital as soon as possible so your veterinarian can examine the eye and determine the underlying cause of the swelling.

Need more information?

Your local Banfield veterinarian can answer any questions or concerns you have about your pet’s eyes. You can also browse the following resources to learn about some eye conditions in dogs and cats.