Holly's Bulging Eye

How fast a problem crops up can provide an important indication about its root. The speed of onset is one of the essential clues to how urgent it is to address. On top of that, when the eyes are involved, I wouldn't wait anyway.

Dog Conditions - Real-Life Stories: Holly's Bulging Eye

Holly's problem cropped up literally overnight. She was perfectly fine when she went to bed and woke up with her eye bulging out and a swollen neck on the same side.

Was it during the day, you'd maybe suspect a bug sting or something of the sort. Having that happen during the night there would perhaps be some possibility of a spider bite, depending on where you live. If that were the case, though, it would still be an emergency.

The eye looked quite bad

Whatever the cause might have been, the eye looked like it was going to be pushed out of the socket any minute. There was a lot of other swelling, and Holy looked miserable. An immediate veterinary visit was the only thing to do.

Out of all things that it could be, the veterinarian decided it was caused by high blood pressure.

Really? How high would the blood pressure have to be and why would it affect one eye so dramatically while leaving the other one perfectly normal?

Holy was sent home with medications to lower her blood pressure.

Holy's swelling kept getting worse.

When Holy's mom brought her back, they increased her blood pressure meds. This was not working! Holly continued to get worse. The swelling kept increasing, Holy's breathing became labored, and all she wanted to do was sleep.

My bet was on infection of sorts

Could it be a tooth abscess? Hopefully, they'd find that? High blood pressure was not something I would buy. Ok, Holy's blood pressure might have been high but was that the cause or perhaps even another symptom instead?

One thing was for sure--the treatment Holy was receiving was not helping.

Holy's mom went back to the hospital insisting that something else must be going on.

This time they sedated Holy and did an ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed a large abscess behind Holy's eye. It was draining down Holy's throat, causing the swelling of the neck.

Finally Holy had a diagnosis that made sense.

The veterinarian didn't feel the abscess was ready to be drained. Holy was put on antibiotics. With the finally correct diagnosis, Holy has improved, her breathing got better.

Unfortunately, it was too little too late. The following day, Holy's abscess ruptured. The content drained down her throat and the resulting swelling was suffocating her. She was sedated and given a breathing tube but deteriorated to the point when her parents made the decision to set her free.

Related articles:
Bulging Eyes
The Big Picture

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What is your dog telling you about their health?

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is an award-winning guide to help you better understand what your dog is telling you about their health and how to best advocate for them. 

Learn how to see and how to think about changes in your dog’s appearance, habits, and behavior. Some signs that might not trigger your concern can be important indicators that your dog needs to see a veterinarian right away. Other symptoms, while hard to miss, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or limping, are easy to spot but can have a laundry list of potential causes, some of them severe or even life-threatening. 

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is a dog health advocacy guide 101. It covers a variety of common symptoms, including when each of them might be an emergency. 

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