Dry eye is a fairly common problem that affects dogs. Certain breeds and older dogs are more prone to developing it, but the condition can affect any dog of any age. Dry eye can be painful for your dog and could lead to a loss of vision. Here are symptoms of this condition and treatments your veterinarian might recommend.
Symptoms Of Dry Eye In Dogs
Dry eye is a condition where your dog doesn't have enough tears to keep the eyes lubricated. This can cause the eyes to become irritated, red, and swollen. You may notice your dog blinking a lot more than usual or keeping their eyes shut. Infections can develop due to dry eyes, and this can cause a discharge from the eyes that makes the eyelids sticky. Your dog may act like their eyes hurt and not be their usual playful self. If dry eye isn't treated, scars might develop in the eyes that cause a loss of vision. When you notice your dog's eyes look irritated or have a change in appearance in any way, it's important to see a vet right away so your dog doesn't suffer and you can prevent your dog's vision loss.
A veterinarian can diagnose dry eye by doing a test that measures the amount of tears that can be wicked out of the eye in a specific amount of time. However, your vet may also want to run other tests to check for infections and other conditions that might occur along with dry eye.
Treatments For Dry Eye In Dogs
There are several causes for dry eye, so the treatments your dog needs might be for an acute condition, or your dog may need treatments for the rest of their life. Treatment involves giving your dog eye drops. To be effective, you have to give the drops consistently because they work to replenish tears in your dog's eyes. The drops used to treat dry eye stimulate tear production and lubricate your dog's eyes. By keeping the eyes lubricated, your dog is much more comfortable and you can prevent complications with scars and infections. Your dog might also need antibiotics to treat an infection, if one is present, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Your dog may need drops in the eyes every few hours until the condition is under control.
Medication used to treat dry eye in dogs is usually effective at controlling the condition and preventing eye damage. Surgery can sometimes be done, but it isn't always a good choice for every dog. Your veterinarian will help you decide on the right treatment for your dog with dry eye and teach you how to care for your dog at home, which might include learning how to clean the eyes to help your dog feel better and to stimulate the production of tears.
For more information, contact companies like Oakton Animal Hospital.