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Desiree and Dr. Terri Gibson asks, does your dog have dry eye?

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Desiree Today

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Does your pet have dry eye?  According to dvm360 Magazine , dry eye is a condition in which the tear production is decreased or absent.  Common clinical signs associated with this disease are:

Conjunctival redness
Squinting or holding the eye completely closed
Constant blinking
A thick, sticky discharge that is often yellowish or greenish in color
Corneal cloudiness creating a dull sheen to the eye(s)

The superficial layers of the eye, including the cornea and conjunctiva, as well as the eyelids depend on tears for nutrition and protection.  Without tears, these structures are highly susceptible to disease and trauma.

Some breeds of dogs, such as the American Cocker Spaniel, Miniature Schnauzer, Poodle, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Pug, Westhighland White Terrier, and English Bulldog are predisposed to this disease due to genetic factors.  This clinical disease is also seen in felines (i.e. Persians).  The causes of dry eye include immune-mediated, congenital, infectious (canine distemper virus), drug-induced (sulfa antibiotics, Etogesic, topical atropine), surgery-induced (removal of the tear gland of the nictitans) and neurogenic.  A significant amount of canine cases tend to be immune-mediated and maintenance treatment is required for the life of the pet.  Parotid duct transposition surgery can be considered if medical treatment fails to significantly increase the tear production.

Our goals in the medical therapy of your pet are to: 1) Improve tear function, 2) prevent ocular disease and 3)         improve patient comfort.  Client compliance and follow-up visits are important in evaluating your pet’s response to the medical therapy. 

American Animal Eye Care Center, Inc.
(562) 943-3728