Signs & Symptoms of Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca in Dogs

by Naomi Millburn
    Pugs are particularly vulnerable to keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

    Pugs are particularly vulnerable to keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

    George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a tear gland disease that frequently affects canines and is otherwise known as dry eye. Dogs with this ailment don't have adequate amounts of aqueous tearing. Many different things can trigger this shortage of aqueous tears, including age, certain medications and wounding or infection of the tear glands. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a congenital condition in some dogs.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Keratoconjunctivitis sicca can lead to various symptoms in canines. They include inordinate squinting, consistent eye redness and soreness, eye inflammation, dense greenish-yellow pus coming out of the eyes, and flaky mucus that accumulates right by the eyes.

    Advanced Symptoms

    Ignored cases of keratoconjunctivitis sicca often make way for the appearance of blood cells on corneas, which can give them hazy and lifeless looks. The blood cells popping up are an effect of immoderate dryness. Bacterial infection also becomes a common occurrence. The eyes are so dry at this point that they lack protection against infection. This can then cause ulceration and holes in the eyes. Dark hyperpigmentation also often becomes an issue. In severe instances, keratoconjunctivitis sicca can bring upon not only decreased eyesight and full eyesight loss but perhaps eye extraction, too. If your pooch has any of these symptoms, he might make it clear that something is seriously amiss by persistently pawing his eyes.

    Response to Symptoms

    If you pick up on any abnormalities with your dog's eyes, call the veterinarian to make an appointment, pronto. The veterinarian might recommend any of numerous approaches for handling the condition, including medicine in eye-drop or ointment form. Medicines for keratoconjunctivitis sicca generally encourage tear formation. More severe scenarios of the ailment might call for surgery that essentially changes the location of the salivary duct, enabling saliva to provide the eyes with moisture. Veterinarians generally attempt management with medication before considering surgery, however. The surgery is uncommon in dogs with keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

    Breeds

    Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a possibility in all canines, but some breeds are prone to the eye disorder. They include pugs, American cocker spaniels, Lhasa apsos, English bulldogs, Yorkshire terriers, English cocker spaniels, Boston terriers, West Highland white terriers, English springer spaniels and Samoyeds, among others.

    Photo Credits

    • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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