乾眼症

dry eye syndrome

Dry eye is a common chronic disease in canine ophthalmology that is difficult to cure. Dry eye is a chronic disease caused by insufficient tears, causing repeated inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva of the eyeball. There will be a large amount of green and yellow eye secretions on the surface of the eyeball. It will slowly turn from transparent to white, and eventually melanin will precipitate. If diagnosed too late or treated incorrectly, the worst possible outcome could be corneal perforation or even blindness.

Tears are the most important line of defense for protecting the eyes. Without them, the eyes will be directly exposed to bacteria and allergens in the air, and there will be a risk of inflammation at any time. To be precise, the tear layer on the surface of the eyeball is not just water. In fact, this layer of tears is divided into an outer layer, a middle layer, and an inner layer.

🔹Outer layer
The oil layer, secreted by the sebaceous glands of the eyelids, is responsible for locking the tears in the middle and inner layers and prolonging the time for the tears to evaporate.

🔹Middle layer
Secreted by the lacrimal gland of the third eyelid and the lacrimal gland tissue on the outside of the upper eyelid, the middle layer of tears is water-based and consists of more than 70 ingredients, such as protein, vitamins, glucose, etc., and provides oxygen, nutrients, and lubrication to people without blood vessels. Distribution of the cornea.

🔹Inner layer
The main function of mucin secreted by conjunctival cells is to adhere the aqueous middle layer of tears to non-hydrophilic corneal cells.

If any of these three layers of tears is missing, the eyes will lose their normal protection. Dry eye syndrome occurs for many reasons, some of which are even unknown. Genetic causes often appear in specific dog breeds, and the age of occurrence is variable, such as: Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, Yorkshire, Pekingese, Pug, Cocker Spaniel, Bulldog, etc.
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[Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome]

🧑🏻‍⚕️-Iatrogenic
It is caused by drugs or surgery. For example, the sulfa drugs in most human eye drops can damage the tear glands of dogs, and long-term use may cause dry eye syndrome in dogs. Surgery to remove the entire third eyelid to treat cherry eye can also easily cause dry eye syndrome. If your dog has cherry eye and needs surgical treatment, be sure to communicate clearly with the doctor before surgery. It is recommended that third eyelid reduction surgery be performed instead of directly removing the third eyelid. This avoids the residual risk of dry eye syndrome.

🧑🏻‍⚕️-Triggered by autoimmune system
In addition, up to 30% of spontaneous dry eye syndromes are related to the autoimmune system, and patients in this category usually have other related immune abnormalities.
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🩺Treatment of dry eye syndrome:

1. Drugs that promote tear secretion (tear stimulants)
This is also the most important drug for treating dry eye disease. Its main ingredient is cyclosporin, which can stimulate the production of tears, inhibit inflammation and bacterial growth, and inhibit corneal pigmentation. This is currently recognized as the most commonly used, safe and standard daily treatment for canine dry eye disease in the world. In the early days, most veterinarians would mix corn oil with cyclosporin to prepare eye oil of a certain concentration. Currently, there is Optimmune eye ointment commercialized by American pharmaceutical companies on the market. Although it is expensive, the actual effect is better than mixing it yourself. Because self-preparation will still have the disadvantage of errors or different concentrations.

2.Artificial tears
Before the eyes can produce tears on their own, it is necessary to use an artificial tear film. In some severe cases where the tear glands have completely lost their function, artificial tear films may even be required for life. Artificial tear film and artificial tears are different. If you only use water-based saline or oil-free artificial tears, you must apply them once every 1-2 hours to exert a protective effect similar to tears. In fact, it is difficult for anyone to give medicine to their dog every hour every day. There are many types of artificial tear films on the market, and their ingredients and moisturizing properties vary greatly. If you are sure to use it for a long time, you must follow the prescription of an experienced doctor and do not buy it yourself.

3. Antibiotic eye drops (antibiotics)
Most patients with dry eye syndrome are accompanied by bacterial infections, so antibiotics are necessary. Choosing the right antibiotics must be based on a doctor’s professional judgment. If you have been using antibiotics for a period of time, a large number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria may have developed. In this case, bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing must be done to select the most suitable antibiotic.

Dry eye syndrome can easily be confused with bacterial conjunctivitis and misdiagnosed. If your dog has symptoms of eye inflammation for a long time and no progress is made with any treatment, you should seek out an experienced ophthalmologist for more detailed examination and treatment as soon as possible. Dry eye syndrome is a chronic killer of vision. If long-term treatment is incorrect or treatment is delayed, the most serious result is total blindness. Dog lovers, don’t be cautious!

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