Blepharitis is the clinical term for the inflammation that can affect the outer skin and connective tissues of a dog’s eyelids. The primary condition also frequently results in secondary inflammation that affects the eyelid’s inside surface.
Many different factors can contribute to blepharitis in dogs. Some dogs are born with it, while others develop it after an allergic reaction or a bacterial infection. Parasites, eye diseases, viruses, and burns or lacerations can also cause blepharitis, though no cause can be determined in a small percentage of cases.
Symptoms of Blepharitis in Dogs
Blepharitis in dogs typically presents with at least a few of the following symptoms (note: treatment options are listed after the 8 symptoms below):
Symptom: Skin Change in the Eye Area
You may notice changes to the consistency and appearance of the skin and external tissues on and around your dog’s eyelids. Dogs with blepharitis typically develop scaly skin around their eyes, which often becomes flaky. Redness and swelling will accompany these skin symptoms, and the eye may cause your dog obvious discomfort. For example, many dogs with blepharitis experience spasms of uncontrolled blinking or squinting, known as blepharospasms.
These physical symptoms are the primary signs of blepharitis, and will be present in practically all cases.