Lets face it, we love our dogs. They are man's best friend, someone who loves us unconditionally no matter what, and they are always there to greet us. But owning a dog comes with certain disadvantages and complications. Like humans, they also come with medical problems.
Dry eye in dogs is one of those conditions, and some breeds are more prone to dry eye conditions than others. Those breeds with the short squished in faces like Pugs, Yorkies, and Bulldogs are some of the most common, however there are many purebreds that are more disposed to dry eye. Some of the other common breeds are Boston Terriers, Frenchies, Shih Tzus, and Cavalier King Spaniels.
First, if you suspect that your dog may be having issues with dry eye, talk to your vet. After all they are trained to treat Fido. Have you ever noticed your vet always checks your dog's eyes? It's important to your pup’s health and dry eye, if caught early, is very treatable and could ensure your friend a lifetime of vision. Common treatments include ointments or eyedrops, which can be applied up to several times a day.
Check with your vet if you notice that the dry eye symptoms are not getting better, or if they are getting worse. If you have gone multiple rounds with the eyedrops or ointments and they don’t work, then it may be time to talk to your vet to see what they recommend next.
You and your vet have run through the gauntlet of ointments and drops, and he’s recommending surgery. What now? There are two types of surgery that your vet can do on your beloved pet. Talk with him, have the vet discuss the types of surgery. Ask questions and see what he thinks would be the best for Fido and why.
The two type of surgery are called a permanent partial tarsorrhaphy and rerouting surgery. The first sews part of the upper and lower lid together. This decreases the amount of the eye that is exposed to the elements, allowing moisture to cover the eye better,
The second type of surgery reroutes the saliva gland to the corner of the eye, which then allows the saliva to coat the eye. The one issue with this is that it may allow more moisture on the eye than the dog can handle and could actually cause irritation of the cornea.
Surgery should come only after all other options have been tried and eliminated. Surgery for pets, just like humans, can be dangerous and take a long time to heal. But if it’s needed, you know better than anyone how much your furry friend adds to your life, so don’t let him down! Have you ever thought about your furry friend having dry eye? What treatments have worked for you?
Dr. Jenna Zigler
Other Dry Eye articles by Dr. Zigler: 4 Tips to Stop Waking Up With Dry, Painful Eyes; Which Antidepressants Cause Dry Eye; Fish Oil for Fighting Dry Eye Inflammation; and What Not To Eat If You Have Dry Eye