Itchy eyed dog...ideas?
October 5, 2014 12:21 AM   Subscribe

My dog has been scratching around her eye for a couple of weeks now. We've been to the vet twice and she can't figure it out. Any ideas from the hive mind?

There was some infection/clear weeping which was treated with ointment and is now gone. The vet has twice tested to see if there is anything in the eye, or if there is a cyst. Negative both times. I actually never see her scratching but the hair around the eye is mostly gone and today she had scratched a small raw patch :(.

Planning on taking her back to the vet when we get paid on Tuesday but was hoping you guys might have some ideas. It is only in one eye so I think not allergies?

Any ideas/suggestions appreciated. She is a lovely 13 mo Spoodle, if it makes any difference, and it is Springtime in Australia.
posted by jojobobo to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Allergies? Dogs can take Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Consult with your get first. Your dog's maximum dose in milligrams equals her weight. Source
posted by IndigoRain at 3:44 AM on October 5, 2014

My poor dog's black "tears", eye goop, and general eye and ear irritation cleared up about halfway when I got consistent about feeding him wheat/grain free dog food. I started that on the notion that if I could afford it he should get more nutrition and less filler. It cleared up the rest of the way when I found out I couldn't eat wheat and banned it from my house and he was no longer able to hoover up wheat scraps from the floor, or get fed crackers by my children, etc. He no longer licks and chews on his paws excessively either. It was pretty eye opening, no pun intended. My vet told me "This breed has goopy eyes sometimes" and "that's just spaniel ears, they trap water which causes an infection..." It always bugged me because he looked miserable at times and dog #2 at my house (same breed) has no such symptoms on or off wheat.

Could be allergies, or an intolerance. The former can be tested but the latter you have to kind of do your own trials. Good luck.
posted by Lardmitten at 5:40 AM on October 5, 2014

She can have allergies that only make one eye itch. Ask your vet for allergy meds. They can't hurt her and it could help.
posted by myselfasme at 6:07 AM on October 5, 2014

posted by wwax at 7:55 AM on October 5, 2014

Allergies can definitely only affect one eye for both humans and animals. (Ask me how I know. *rubs permanently inflamed left eye dejectedly*) Benadryl maybe a good short-term fix, and a change in diet (if you aren't already feeding her grain-free food) will sustain it long-term.
posted by Hermione Granger at 7:58 AM on October 5, 2014

Every year we go through this loop where my Roxy gets allergies (it's more than just her eyes - her undercarriage and snout gets red and itchy too), and rubs at her eyes with her paws until she opens wounds on her head. One of her eyes is always worse, and none of us can figure out if one eye is just worse and she rubs it more, or if she's left-pawed (which she is - that's almost always her leading leg) and so just better at rubbing with that paw.

There really isn't allergy medicine for dogs (though you can do allergy shots apparently, just like people), but the vet can give you the dog-appropriate dosages for most of the current OTC antihistamines. Anecdotally, the harder-to-find Chlortrimeton works best. We've been through Benadryl, Claritin, and we use children's liquid Zyrtec now because she's really hard to pill and the Chlortrimeton doesn't come in liquid. The Zyrtec doesn't work all that well and we always end up doing a round of prednisone, which stops it within days.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:43 AM on October 5, 2014

Our dog, Wonton, has long had what were obviously allergy problems but we only had him tested recently. One of the things that came up were storage mites, which I had never heard of. So part of trying to solve this persistent problem for him is to keep his food sealed in airtight containers, make sure we are buying smaller bags of food so they don't sit around too long, and being more diligent about cleaning his food bowl and the area around it.

The allergy panel ran $200 or so (and only tested for environmental issues - food allergies require going on a special diet and reintroducing foods individually).
posted by jimw at 11:36 AM on October 5, 2014

Our old girl has skin tags on her lower lids. The vet could snip them off, but she's had bad anesthesia reactions in the past and is 14.5 years old (blue heeler, we've already had bonus years).

Which is to say it could be skin tags, which from my personal experience itch like loud crows as they're growing in (so your dog may be scratching them away before they grow long enough to be seen).
posted by Jesse the K at 3:04 PM on October 5, 2014

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