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Dry eye – keratoconjunctivitis sicca

Removal of cherry eye ( I have found this doesn’t make a difference, I have had dogs that never had a cherry eye
                                     get dry eye )
Immune disorder  ( the dogs immune system interrupts tear production )
Certain drugs can cause dry eye ( this is usually temporary and tear production will return to normal after the drug
is discontinued )


Your veterinarian will perform a schirmer tear test ( the schirmer tear test is a thin strip of paper with lines on it to
measure how many tears are produced by the eye in 1 minute ) Dogs that have dry eyes are prone to getting eye
infections or ulcers on the cornea of the eye. ( tears wash away dirt and bacteria from the eyes ) If your veterinarian
thinks there are corneal ulcers they will also do a fluorescein stain ( the fluorescein stain will dye a corneal ulcer
green so it can be easily seen ) Dry eyes are very uncomfortable for your dog ( imagine having sand in your eyes
all the time ! ) and can leave your dog blind from corneal scarring. Treating your dog for dry eye is a lot easier now
than it was years ago.


The treatment is applying either cyclosporine drops or ointment 1 to 2 times a day or tacrolimus drops or ointment
1 to 2 times daily. I have only used cyclosporine and have never tried the tacrolimus. Cyclosporine comes in an
ointment or drops ( I prefer the drops, it’s a lot easier to put a drop in your dogs eye that it is to squeeze out
“1/4 inch “ of ointment ) Most veterinarians only carry the ointment, so if you would like to use the drops, your
veterinarian will have to write you a prescription. You will have to use a “ compounding pharmacy “ The drops
are specially made using cyclosporine and corn oil.
There are several compounding pharmacies that make the cyclosporine drops. Monument pharmacy,
Wedgewood pharmacy and 1800 petmeds to name a few. The treatment for dry eye is for the rest of the dogs life.
This is not a problem that will go away.