Canine Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, or KCS) is a common eye condition with dogs that occurs when their eyes don’t produce enough tears to keep them lubricated and healthy. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environmental conditions, trauma, and certain medications.
Symptoms of Canine Dry Eye
- Eye Redness
- Eye Discharge
- Cloudy or opaque eyes
- Corneal Ulceration (in severe cases)
Stages of Canine Dry Eye
Mild Dry Eye
At this stage, the eyes may be slightly red and there may be some discharge. The eyes may also appear cloudy or opaque.
Moderate Dry Eye
At this stage, the eyes are more red and there is more discharge. Squinting is common and the eyes may appear hazy or foggy. Corneal Ulceration may occur.
Severe Dry Eye
At this stage, the eyes are very red and there is a lot of discharge. Squinting is constant and the eyes may appear completely opaque. Corneal Ulceration is common and blindness can occur if left untreated.
Treatment for Canine Dry Eye
Treatment for canine dry eye typically involves artificial tears or ointments to help lubricate their eyes and reduce inflammation. In more severe cases, medications such as cyclosporine may be prescribed to increase tear production.
It’s important to keep their eyes clean and free of debris to prevent further irritation. Eye drops containing antibiotics may also be prescribed if there is an infection present. If you suspect your dog may have canine dry eye, it’s important to take them to your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Preventing Canine Dry Eye
There are several steps you can take to help prevent canine dry eye. These include:
- Keeping their eyes clean and free of debris
- Avoiding exposure to smoke, dust, and other irritants
- Ensuring your dog is receiving adequate nutrition
- Providing plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink
- Limiting exposure to windy or dry environments
- Making sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations
- Taking your dog for regular eye exams with a veterinarian