dry_eye2Dry eye is an extremely common problem in dogs but less so in cats. It is usually a chronic disease resulting in reduced tear flow, with the result that the corneal surface becomes damaged due to desiccation.


Many possible causes have been seen in dogs and these include immune mediated medical problems, kidney disease, diabetes, allergy, trauma, cancer or nerve damage to the glandular tissue. Long term use of some drugs can also result in reduced tear flow.


There are a number of breeds that are predisposed to tear deficiency and these include Bulldogs, Spaniels, Daschunds and West Highland White terriers.


The severity of the signs depends on the degree of tear reduction. The dryness causes excessive mucous accumulation and inflamed conjunctiva and as the dryness progresses the cornea itself becomes damaged. This damage initially is seen as blood vessel infiltration together with pigmentation and eventually ulceration or blindness can result.


Various treatment options are available. The veterinary ophthalmologists will be able to advise you which is the best treatment option for your pet.