Corneal damage can result from dry eye in dogs if not treated promptly.
If your dog has lost the sparkle in his eyes, it may be the result of diminished tear production and/or a condition known as canine dry eye, medically referred to as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca.
When a dog has this condition, it means that his eyes are no longer receiving a sufficient amount of aqueous tears necessary for eye lubrication and/or the tear film is evaporating too quickly.
The loss of lubrication robs the cornea of oxygen and nutrients vital to its health and the subsequent dryness causes the cornea to become destructively irritated.
It is a condition not to be ignored
in order to avoid progressive corneal damage.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from dry eyes, which can lead to vision loss, don't wait to get a professional diagnosis and necessary treatment.
Dogs suffering from dry eye may have undergone surgery which included the
removal of the tear producing lacrimal gland behind the third eyelid.
This gland is responsible for a significant portion of the tear production necessary to maintain the health of a dog's eyes. Once this gland is removed, a dog is at a much higher risk for dry eye.
Although any breed can be affected by this condition, some breeds of dogs are more prone to dry eyes. Among them are Shih Tzus, Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Schnauzers and Bulldogs.
Sometimes the cause of dry eye in dogs is just not apparent.
Various medications and treatment options may be recommended based on the status of the condition. The main
objective being to restore lubrication to the eyes, as well as reignite tear production.
When the dry eye condition has resulted in irreparable damage to the lacrimal gland, the only remaining option may be surgical intervention.
One such approach involves surgical
repositioning of a salivary gland located near the ear, to
the corner of the eye, thereby providing saliva as a substitute
lubricant to treat dry eye. However, this approach is rarely done
of its downsides which should be fully explained by a vet before a dog
owner considers this course of action.
Have your dog checked out for any liver problems. Some vet experts believe there is a connection between liver problems and dry eye.
Since there is no known cure for this eye disorder, the ideal approach is to:
Following this regime, if and when eye problems are encountered, they will receive prompt treatment and the best chance of a successful outcome.
Holistic veterinarians consider both conventional and alternative viewpoints in seeking the underlying causes of canine eye problems as well as other pet ailments.
disorders, they treat each pet as unique and may often use a combination of homeopathic,
herbal and/or nutritional therapies along with conventional remedies as needed by your dog. In other words, not a one size fits all.
With the approval of your vet, you many wish to incorporate the use of natural substances that contribute to eye health along with the main treatment of your dogs dry eye condition.
Image: Joel Mills / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)