Sight For Sore Eyes
“Dry Eye” is a condition that we see commonly and occurs when there is a lack of sufficient tears to keep the eyes and surrounding tissues moist. The eyes then become dry and tacky, leading to infection and painful inflammation, with the production of sticky, green mucus. The reduced ‘flushing’ effect of low tear production also prevents foreign material (dust, grass seeds, pollen etc) from being washed out of the eyes, and can predispose to potentially disastrous ulceration of the cornea. Corneal pigmentation is also common, leading to blindness.
The most common cause is autoimmune disease, where the body’s own defence system does not recognise its own tissues as “self”, and fights against it by producing harmful antibodies that damage the tear-producing glands.
“Dry Eye” should be suspected in any dog or cat that gets recurring eye infections, or if the eyes appear dry, dull and sticky. A simple test can be done rapidly in the clinic, which confirms the level of tear production. If insufficient, then medications can be used to help stimulate production. As with most medical conditions, early intervention results in a much better long-term outlook. If you suspect your pet has “Dry Eye”, make an appointment at AlphaPet for an assessment and tear test.