dog with 'dry eyes' ..... any ideas?

vieja_gwAugust 22, 2012

Our 6 yr. old German Shepherd has been diagnosed with 'dry eyes' (this has been an unusually hot, dry summer too)& a discharge in the corner of her eyes. The Vet put her on Rx. $ cyclosporin/olive oil drops (it seems to burn the dog's eyes after I put them in... she tries to rub them out!) & the over-the-counter Liquid Tears drops that both my husband & I use as we also have dry eyes'!

After two weeks, the dog's eyes seem a bit better & less discharge but it seems the cyclosporin drops will be an on-going treatment to try & cure. I am now going to use the over-the-counter 'nightime drops' that my husband & I can't use ... as it takes most of the next morning to clear our vision again! Hoping this will protect the dog's eyes over a longer period of time than the regular drops. Has anyone had a similar problem with their pet's eyes? Would appreciate any thought or ideas!

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Yes, we had a geriatric schnauzer who was treated by one vet for recurring eye discharge and infections. When I asked this vet's partner for a refill, he immediately dx'ed the dog with dry eye. He was right, when we started treating the dry eye, all symptoms stopped.

Here is the vet told me that our dog's condition will not be 'cured' in the true sense of the word. He would require assistance to keep his eyes moist for the rest of his life. Please don't be too blase about the discomfort dry eye can cause for a dog. If not treated properly, dry eye can even lead to corneal ulcers. It's not something one should experiment with, without their vet's knowledge and OK. We used a simply liquid tears formula OTC, and I requested an optic salve often used to protect eyes during surgery, to use on him overnight when I couldn't be around to do the once every two hour drops. This is a discussion you should be having with your vet.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:20PM
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Your dog will probably need drops for the rest of its' life.
Here's the thing:
First, you need to check the white part of the eyes with and without drops, to see if the eyes truly get irritated AFTER you use the Cyclosporin/Oil drops. Your dog may simply not like any drops being applied to the eyes for a few seconds, or there may be something in that mixture that burns the eyes. If the eyes become more red after the application then you need to try different LUBRICANTS.
Eyes are very tricky. You need to apply, check and watch to make sure proper medication is prescribed.

I had a dog with eye issues. Certain eye meds are NOT cheap!
I think I went thru at least 20 different eye lubricants (people and for pets). We finally figured out that she was allergic to some type of lubricant that all the eye meds had in common. I had to import and eye medicaton from Canada called I-Drop VET . or (514)685-8118.

I am NOT affiliated with them and I hope the info is still good. This was 4 years ago. I used the Canadian drops because they were made differently than the US meds, didn't burn and they didn't have that "foreign body" feel after application. I also had to use very little Prednisone ( 1 drop every day). Keep in mind that your dog's situation may be different, so you need to discuss all this with your Vet or an Opthalmologist.

I just threw that extra allergy information and Canadian med out there for anyone who is struggling and can't find the right eye medication for their dog. Who would have thought that a dog can be allergic to the actual lubricant in the Lubricant med?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:28AM
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I've personally had eye problems in the past and found Refresh Plus and Refresh Celluvisc to be the best eye drops on the market. Celluvisc is good to use at night since it has a thicker consistency, yet it doesn't affect the vision like the ointment does. You can purchase the Refresh Plus at Costco and save $$.

If I had a dog diagnosed with dry-eye by my vet, I'd get a second opinion from a vet ophthalmologist. After using many meds in my eyes, I discovered that I had an allergy to spf and most fragrances. After eliminating products with those ingredients I no longer needed any eye meds. So, I would suggest eliminating all other possible causes for your dog's eye problems.....such as allergies.

I wouldn't use anything that appears to be painful to your dogs eyes. Liquid eye drops, vs the single-use applicators, have a preservative in them. I'm one that suffers from burning eyes if I use anything with the preservative in them so it's very likely your dog is having the same response. I can testify that it's very painful! My eye doctor said sensitivity to the preservative is not uncommon.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:29AM
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yes, we have used the Refresh (husband & I both have dry eyes too!) but found the small one-applicator doses inconvenient (do they also come in bottles now?)so we use the 'EQUATE gentle* Lubricant Eye Drops' without a preservative & have bottles kept all over for convenience (the others with preservatives 'burned' when used!). The Vet diagnosed 'dry eyes' on the Shepherd using the test strips. We had some EQUATE nightime eye ointment that we stopped using as it took a long time the next morning to get clear vision back! The Vet thought this 'problem' for us would be an asset to keep the Shepherd's eyes lubricated during the day (we live at a mile high sunny altitude in the S.W.)with only a two or so application. She doesn't seem to feel any burning & runs off after each application to play. Had a Doberman one time when our son was small & he would put sunglasses on her & she would run around all day with them on... 'a fashion Dobie'!! Not so with the G.S however!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:31PM
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I agree with getting a second opinion from an animal eye specialist - you will most likely need a referral from your regular vet - we did. Our dog was diagnosed with pink eye, used the requirement drops for 2 weeks, was retested, put on said drops for 2 more weeks and then the pink eye that wasn't turned into an eye ulcer which in turned turned into an abscessed cornea. And we were at the vet on May 25, 2011 - after noticing the night of May 24 - when removing a sleeper from is eye that there was a bit of eye discharge - he is white with clear eyes so easy to see. So we continue to have rechecks. At the last recheck the specialist (board certified) told us to buy some GenTeel eye drops at the pharmacy - just this brand and to use only if our dog's eyes appeared dry or were squinting - so hard to know. This is in addition to the prescription meds. But I wouldn't use anything without a final diagnosis. The magnifiying equipment used by the eye specialist is much better than that used by most reqular vets so that if there is an underlying problem it will be seen. Hope everything works out. I need to make our next check-up.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Thank you 'eccentric'...

We began using Nighttime dropps for dry eyes they we tried as both my husband &I have dry eyes too! That nightime stuff wouldn't clear our eyes til almost noon the next day (!!) so we quit using it but when I suggesterd it to the Vet, she also thought that would be good for our Shepherd! Those cyclosporing drops (like in 'Restasis') must burn her eyes as she would go try & rub it out but with the drops for nighttime use it seems to keep her eyes lubricated well & her eyes appear much better & she doesn't mind my putting it in. Hopefully, this will be the answer!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 3:05PM
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