Dry eye in dogs is one of the more frequent ocular diseases in canines.
This occurs when the dog has a tear deficiency and it affects more and more dogs every year.
Veterinarians know it as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca and they say that the most common dog breeds to suffer from it are the Shih Tzu, the King Charles Spaniel, the West Highland White Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the Dachshund, the Cocker Spaniel, the Bulldog and the Chihuahua.
Dry eye in dogs is a lot more likely to show up in old dogs, and chances also increase in neutered or spayed dogs as opposed to intact male and females. If the level of tear reduction is moderate, it is common to find the Dog Eye Problem to be chronic but with no significant affect to the cornea.
There are several different causes for dry eye in dogs, since there are different reasons for a decrease in lachrymal production. Some of them include the distemper virus, as well as sulphonamide toxicity.
In some cases a prolonged use of atropine and lesions of the facial nerve may also lead to the disease. Nevertheless, it is widely believed that most of the time the cause is from autoimmune complication.
As the condition continues and progresses, the eye area will start to accumulate a mucosa secretion, and in some cases these rheums may hang or stay on the corneal surface and will stick the eyelids together, turning the eye surface thicker and more red. The typical shiny aspect of the eye becomes more opaque and tiny blood vessels will become visible in the cornea. Scars and pigmentation may also occur.
In some dogs suffering from the disease it is possible to notice dryness on the same side of the nose as the affected eye. All these symptoms will be uncomfortable for the animal and may even cause pain in variable degrees. As a result of the pain, it is normal to see a fallen eyelid. It is important to pursue treatment as early as possible, because with time corneal ulcers may appear.
The recommended treatment usually aims for the stimulation of tears, and in many cases an ophthalmic ointment such as cyclosporine will help; your vet will probably advise to apply it twice a day. This remedy is also available by oral administration. It is necessary to apply an additional treatment like a lubricating ointment before sleep.
Artificial tears are also an option; there is an array of types the vet might suggest including polyvinyl alcohol, metal-cellulose or the recently added hyaluronic acid. Applied several times a day, these artificial tears help lubricate the Dog's Eye and provide comfort.
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