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CROWS NEST 64 Atchison St Crows Nest NSW 2065
EYE CLINIC FOR ANIMALS Ph: (02) 9436 4884
• Fax: (02) 9906 5710
Jeffrey S. Smith BVSc, FACVScCameron J.G. Whittaker
444 Liverpool Rd (Hume Highway),
South Strathfield NSW 2136
Ph: (02) 975 88 666
4 • Fax: (02) 975 88 880
Dry Eye is a condition in which the tear glands
What is Dry Eye (KCS) are unable to provide adequate moisture to the
and what causes it? eye. This disease also affects humans.
Dry Eye can be caused by trauma, drug reactions and systemic diseases. The vast majority of cases are caused by the body’s own immune system (auto-immune disease). Some breeds of dog seem to be especially predisposed to the disease such as Bull Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, English Bull dogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels,
Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus and West Highland White Terriers.
The clinical signs of dry eye include squinting,
What are the clinical copious amounts of thick discharge from one
signs of KCS? or both eyes (often both are affected), redness,
cloudiness in the eyes, and loss of vision. Long
term the eyes can go a black colour.
Treatment for dry eye may be either medical or
What treatments are surgical. Fortunately most animals respond well
available? to medical therapy. This involves eye drops or
ointment designed to stimulate the tear gland to
produce more tears. Medication for this condition will usually be lifelong.
Cyclosporine is the drug that is usually used to achieve this. Cyclosporine may come as a drop or ointment (Optimmune).
As well as cyclosporine we may use other medications to help clear
up the infections and discharge such as antibiotics, and
Cleaning the eye with a warm compress to soak away the crusts is also very important in controlling the disease as the discharge promotes bacterial growth. In some breeds where eyelid closure is poor, we may use eye ointments to lubricate the cornea. If your pet requires oral antibiotics for other problems, sulphur based medications should not be used as they can further decrease tear production.
Surgical treatment for dry eye is occasionally needed in cases where there is no response to medication. The surgery involves moving a salivary gland duct from the mouth to the eye. This
results in saliva moistening the eye.
The surgery is usually successful, but complications can occur. These may include mineral deposits being formed on the cornea, excessive facial wetting, or blockage of the transplanted duct. These may require further surgery.
This is one of a series of information sheets prepared by the
llustrations Karen Curran, Unicorn Graphics A
Photos The Eye Clinic for Animals Produced forTthe Eye Clinic for Animals, A
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