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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Inflamed Eyelids (Blepharitis)

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Condition Overview

Bacterial blepharitis is a condition in which the eyelids become thick, reddened, inflamed, and encrusted. Mucus-like pus may adhere to the lids.

Symptoms

Staphylococcal blepharitis occurs in both puppies and adults. It is identified by small white pimples on the edges of the eyelids. These pimples rupture.

Causes

Blepharitis in puppies occurs primarily in association with puppy strangles. In older dogs it can be associated with various skin diseases, including canine atopy, demodectic mange, autoimmune diseases, and hypothyroidism.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by physical examination.

Treatment

Blepharitis is treated with oral and topical antibiotics. To remove adherent crusts, use a washcloth soaked in warm water as a daily compress over the eyelids. Apply a topical ophthalmic ointment or solution containing neomycin, bacitracin, or polymyxin B. Your vet may prescribe an ophthalmic ointment that contains corticosteroids.

Prevention

Blepharitis is difficult to cure. Some dogs require long term treatment. Dogs with chronic blepharitis should be checked for hypothyroidism. Any primary cause will need to be treated.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you think your pet may have this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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