Dry eye, also known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, is a very common condition in our patients, as it is in humans. Dry eye occurs when there is a decrease in the fluid component of the tear film due to a lack of aqueous tear production by the lacrimal and nictitans glands. The clinical signs associated
with dry are typically mild and include the development of thick green mucoid discharge, a dull or lackluster appearance to the eye, redness to the conjunctiva, and a mild degree of irritation that manifests as intermittent squinting. Severe untreated cases of dry eye can cause significant corneal pigmentation, vascularization and scarring that can diminish your pet’s site.
There are many causes of dry eye in our pet population. Some of the most common causes include immune mediated, congenital, hereditary, metabolic diseases (Hypothyroidism, Diabetes, Cushing’s), certain infectious diseases, neurologic, inflammatory, drug toxicity, or iatrogenic. Depending on the cause of dry eye, resolution of this a problem can be achieved. However, it is common that dry eye is a treatable condition and not curable. Dry eye is diagnosed by having a Schirmer Tear Test performed and the observation of concurrent ocular lesions that are consistent with dry eye.
The main treatment for dry eye consists of a combination of tear stimulant and tear lubricant supplementation therapies. Depending on the cause some additional medical therapies may be needed to aid in resolving this problem. In some cases, a combined workup with your primary veterinarian or a different specialist may be needed to aid in curing your loved one of this problem. We will be able to determine how successful and how much of an improvement medical therapy can achieve with subsequent examinations and monitoring. In some patients, Parotid Duct Transposition surgery may be beneficial to provide your pet a long-term comfortable and successful outcome to resolve the signs and symptoms associated with dry eye.
If you notice that your pet is having an increased amount of discharge and redness to the eyes call us for evaluation and medical therapeutic options.