SUDDEN SWOLLEN EYELIDS (CHEMOSIS)
QUESTION: I took my 2 year old, large breed dog walking again yesterday as I always try to do each day. But last night I noticed his eyelid over top of only one eye is swollen quite big? Not both eyes, just the one? Could he have been stung by a bee or something? What should I do? He doesn't seem to care about it? It is still quite swollen today? Maybe he bumped it?
ANSWER: A sudden swelling of the eyelids may be caused by an "Allergic Reaction". These include insect bites, hives, inhaled irritants and allergens in medications. These lids looked fluid-filled and fairly soft. In fact, water has passed out of the circulation into the tissues in response to the allergy. Some dogs may rub their muzzles or the eye(s) themselves due to the itching sensation caused. The condition may be accompanied by "Hives" in which the hair stands out in an erect manner in little patches over other parts of the body.
Normally this is not a serious problem. It is of short duration and improves when the allergic agent is removed or the body rids itself of the allergens toxic effect.
So: Only one eye affected so sounds like an allergic reaction from anything from a flying insect sting (bees, wasps, hornets) or else even a spider bite from on the walk or even inside the home. Or he came into contact with a plant such as stinging nettle or any plant type where the barb penetrated the skin over his eye (some thistles, etc.).
You have ever so gently ran the tip of your finger over it feeling for the tiniest sliver of something (bee stinger or barb from a plant)? You have raised the eyelid (make sure your in good lighting to help see) to make sure no evidence of anything under the eyelid (probably not the case as the eye should then be watering). Close inspection has ruled out a tiny scratch?
That leaves having banged his head (in that exact spot). Usually if just banged his eye, the fluid filling the membrane is more evident. I don't know how to really say it, but different than an insect sting or plant barb?
If the swelling is not significantly down in 72 hours, the dog must be seen by a Vet to rule out more serious problems.
Because we do not know what it is, no use me saying to use an Antihistamine to counter act an allergic reaction.
Don't wait 3 days if he begins rubbing it on furniture, etc, or pawing at it. And of course if he becomes lethargic or failure to eat and drink properly