Treating Dry Eye in Dogs
Dry eye is a fairly common eye disorder of many breeds of dogs. Clinical signs of dry eye in dogs include increased redness or injection of the eyes, thick often yellow or greenish mucous discharge built up on the surface or cornea of the eye, as well as secondary infection or ulceration of the cornea. Many pets are visibly uncomfortable, often holding the eye closed in light, as well as pawing at affected the area.
Dry eye typically occurs when the third gland of the eye stops producing adequate tears, often due to an underlying autoimmune disorder. Sometime these glands will just stop producing tears for unknown reasons. Diagnosis is only made by veterinary exam and measurement of the tear production in the eye.
Treatment of dry eye may range from simply providing artificial tears to the eye a few times daily, and/or stronger topical eye medications now available like Optimmune. Topical Optimmune works by decreasing inflammatory processes in the eye involved with low tear production. It has been quite effective for me over many years of use; however it is often quite expensive.
Other natural modalities to use in management of dry eye include placing one or two drops of cod liver oil in the eye twice to three times daily. This can act as a lubricant for the eye, as well as promote healing of the corneal surface. Cod liver oil can also be used in food as a supplement as well. Supplementing pets with liver supportive supplements like Denamarin, as well as Canine hepatic support may also help long term, as many in holistic medicine believe the liver to be out of balance in pets with dry eye.