Dry Eye otherwise know as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) is a painful and potentially blinding condition for many dogs.
The most common cause is destruction of the tear gland (Lacrimal Tissue) by the immune system. This leads to either reduced or absent tears and can result in recurrent infections and corneal damage.
It is also very uncomfortable and often painful – to see how a pet with dry eye feels try holding your eye open without blinking- most people can not even last 30 seconds before their eye becomes dry and irritated.
Dry Eye affects 1 in 22 dogs in the UK
Commonly affected breeds include the following:
Below are just some of the symptoms that your pet may exhibit if they have a dry eye problem.
Diagnosis & Treatment:
If your vet suspects that your pet is suffering from dry eye, they will perform a test called the Schirmer Tear Test. This test measures the amount of tears that the eye is producing. It involves putting little strips of paper inside your pets lower eyelid. It is usually well tolerated by most patients.
If it is found that your pet is not producing enough of their own tears the vet will then look at the cause for this and prescribe appropriate treatment, which can consist of a number of different things.
In all cases of dry eye you will be required to apply artificial tears to your pets eye on a frequent basis and this can often be a lifelong condition depending on the cause, meaning you will need to get used to applying these drops as stopping them could cause your pet unnecessary suffering.