Several methods have been proposed to assess changes in corneal biomechanical properties due to various factors, such as degenerative diseases, intraocular pressure, and therapeutic interventions (e.g. corneal collagen crosslinking). However, the effect of the corneal tissue hydration state on corneal stiffness is not well understood. In this work, we induce low amplitude (< 10 μm) elastic waves with a focused micro air-pulse in fresh in situ rabbit corneas (n = 10) in the whole eye-globe configuration at an artificially controlled intraocular pressure. The waves were then detected with a phase-stabilized swept source optical coherence elastography system. Baseline measurements were taken every 20 minutes for an hour while the corneas were hydrated with 1X PBS. After the measurement at 60 minutes, a 20% dextran solution was topically instilled to dehydrate the corneas. The measurements were repeated every 20 minutes again for an hour. The results showed that the elastic wave velocity decreased as the corneal thickness decreased. Finite element modeling (FEM) was performed using the corneal geometry and elastic wave propagation speed to assess the stiffness of the samples. The results show that the stiffness increased from ~430 kPa during hydration with PBS to ~500 kPa after dehydration with dextran, demonstrating that corneal hydration state, apart from geometry and intraocular pressure, can change the stiffness of the cornea.