Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (dry Eye)
General information on Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (dry Eye)
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), also known as dry eye, is a decrease in tear production. The tears that are produced have a lower aqueous amount and a higher mucous amount. When there isnít enough proper tear production, the cornea becomes inflamed causing scarring and pigmentation of the cornea which may lead to a decrease in vision. In severe cases, there ulcers in the cornea may occur. A dog with KCS will produce a stringy mucous discharge from the eye and the eye will appear dry and dull. There are many causes of KCS. The most common cause is an immune-mediated destruction of the tear glands. Some of the other causes of KCS are trauma to the tear glands, the removal of the prolapse gland in the third eyelid, infections, chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva, some skin disease, some neurological disorders, a low thyroid hormone production, or a side effect of certain medications.
Symptoms of Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (dry Eye)
Some of the symptoms for keratoconjunctivitis sicca may be a film over the cornea, decreased vision, redness of the eye, and a discharge from the eye. The discharge will usually be thick, yellowy in color, stringy, and appear mostly in the morning hours.
Treatments for Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (dry Eye)
The treatment for keratoconjunctivitis sicca is artificial tear solution and ointment, antibiotic ointment, and cyclosporine drops. The cyclosporine drops are an immunosuppressive drug that helps to reverse immune-mediated destruction of the tear glands. Unfortunately, there is no cure and only treatment. Therefore, treatment is life-long. In sever cases and only as a last resort, surgery on the salivary gland in the corner of the eye will be preformed. This will replace the tears for the dog, but the amount of tears produced may be too much causing watery eye and a build-up of mineral deposits in the cornea.
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