A dog’s eyes can be indicative of their overall health – similar to how we can tell if something is wrong by looking at their coat. If their eyes appear to be in distress or show a change in condition, it could be a sign that there is a problem elsewhere on their body. However, sometimes the problem lies with the eye itself, such as when they have cataracts or a corneal ulcer. When we see our dog has a sty on their eyelid, we may worry that the problem could affect their eyes more drastically.
At AnimalWised, we understand the causes of and treatments available for the condition known as a sty on your dog’s eyelid. We’ll help you determine the best course of action to take to remove the sty and get your pup back to good health.
What are styes in dogs?
A sty, also known as a hordeolum, is a temporary lump that can appear on the eyelid of dogs. They can grow to be quite large, due to the fact that they are caused by a bacterial infection of the sebaceous oil gland of the eyelid. Styes can appear on either the upper or lower eyelid, with the most common bacterial type being Staphylococcus aureus.
Although it can be annoying for dogs and cause them to scratch at their noses and eyes, it is usually not a serious condition. It can affect dogs of any breed, age or ***, but dogs with weaker immune systems may have more severe symptoms.
The most common symptom of a stye on a dog’s eyelid is the lump itself. This is due to the inflammation caused by the dog’s antibodies attacking the bacteria. The swelling is caused by the formation of pus which does not always seep out. They are generally accompanied by discomfort and pain in the dog, but not all dogs will experience the same levels. Some may not be bothered by the presence of a sty at all.
However, in most dogs the main symptom will be the inflammation. This can be accompanied by redness around the swelling, as well as more tearing in the dog’s eyes. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible so they can get the treatment they need.
Other causes of swelling on dog eyelids
If your dog’s swelling doesn’t go down, it’s best to visit a veterinarian to rule out other possible conditions. Some diseases that present with similar symptoms to styes in dogs are:
Entropion: This condition is more common in certain breeds, such as Shar Pei. It occurs when the eyelashes rub against the eye, which can be caused by the shape of the eyelid. Wrinkles and folds can cause more problems. Other related symptoms include eye irritation and tearing.
Tumors: One type of skin tumor that may appear around a dog’s eyelids are known as adenomas of the meibomian glands. Although these tumors are benign, they still require surgical treatment.
Conjunctivitis and ulcers: These conditions can cause reddening of the eyelid, excess tearing, and pain. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away.
Dogs have a third eyelid, also called a nictitating membrane, which has a gland called Harder’s gland. If this area becomes inflamed, it may present as hyperplasia (excessive growth) or prolapse (part of the tissue protruding outward). These conditions can be distinguished from a stye by the color of the lump, which is pinker than the stye (which is the same color as the eyelid skin), and by the location on the eye. The stye is located on the edge of the eye closest to the animal’s ear, while the third eyelid lump is located on the medial side of the eye, closest to the animal’s snout.
Treating a sty in dog’s
As we have stated above, styes in dog eyelids are not serious diseases and will usually heal on their own without treatment. However, if the infection is acute or the dog has other issues which require the sty to be treated, the following may be administered:
Antibiotics are the most effective remedy for a bacterial infection in dogs. This is usually in the form of a topical cream applied to the affected area. However, since the application of the ointment can be difficult and may lead to more scratching, the veterinarian will usually prescribe antibiotic ointment only if the sty is unlikely to heal on its own.
Applying warm, wet towels to the affected area several times a day can help ease your dog’s discomfort. Do this for 5-10 minutes at a time, 3-4 times per day. If your dog seems scared or stressed by the towel, stop the treatment and try something else. The warmth is meant to soothe your dog and reduce swelling, so if it’s causing anxiety it won’t be effective. Make sure the water is warm, not hot. Always use clean towels and wash your hands before starting.
Hygiene: it is important to keep the area clean and avoid trying to burst the inflammation. A simple cleaning with water is usually enough.
There are some home remedies that have been traditionally considered positive treatments, such as cleaning the area with a gauze soaked in warm chamomile infusion or in an infusion of boiling water with a tablespoon of turmeric. However, they will not cure the stye and may not be more effective than letting it heal on its own.
If you think your pet may be in pain, it’s important to take them to the veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe veterinary treatments, so we always recommend talking to a professional if you’re concerned about your pet’s health.
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