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Bassett with swollen eyes.

Species: Dog
Breed: Basset Hound
Age: 2-5 years
I have a 5 year old bassett whos eye swelled up quite a bit this morning. We took him to the vet and they said he had cherry eye. The pictures online are similar to what my dog looks like but he doesn't have the prolapse just a lot of swelling. All that I read says cherry eye doesn't seem to hurt the dog and my dog can't open his mouth without pain and yelping. He's sitting in the closet hiding and has been all day. He seems very uncomfortable. Could it be something else? We were given eye drops while at the vets office. Will this help the cherry eye, or is it inevitable that he will need surgery?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am sorry to hear that Quinn is not feeling well.

It is unusual for cherry eye to pop up all of a sudden and it definitely shouldn't cause pain to him. I am concerned that there may be something else going on.

Another possibility is an allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting which is quite common at this time of the year. An insect sting can cause significant swelling around the eyes (and sometimes mouth and other areas as well.)

In either case it won't hurt to try giving some benadryl to Quinn. Dogs take a relatively high dose of benadryl as compared to people. The dose is approximately 1 mg per pound. So, a 25lb dog would take a full 25mg tablet. A 50lb dog would take 2 tablets. It will take about 20-30 minutes to see a difference. If it is working you may find you need to repeat the dose in 8 hours or so.

There are other things that can cause swollen eyes, but the bee sting seems most likely to me.

There are a couple of conditions that can cause pain on opening the mouth such as something called masticatory myositis or a retrobulbar abscess (an abscess behind the eye.) However, masticatory myositis shouldn't cause swelling around the eyes, and it would be extremely rare (if not impossible) to have an abscess behind each eye.

I would recommend trying the benadryl. Continue to give the drops that your vet gave. If things have not improved by the morning (or if you feel he really is uncomfortable tonight) then another vet visit may be in order.

I really hope things improve soon!

Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.