Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), better known as “dry eye,” is a common eye condition in dogs. Any dog can develop dry eye, but dogs with big, buggy eyes, such as Pugs, Lhasa Apsos, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, and English Bulldogs, are extra susceptible. Symptoms include irritation, goopy discharge, excessive blinking, swollen eyelids, and corneal color changes. The condition, which can have numerous causes, results in an inability to produce enough tears to provide nutrients and oxygen to the precorneal tear fi lm. The good news is that most of these causes can be treated on an outpatient basis, often with a topical antibiotic or corticosteroid. The less-good news is that there’s no cure for most causes of dry eye, so your dog will need ongoing treatment.
Remember, the first thing to do about any eye-related problem in your dog is to call the vet. Eyes are too sensitive and vulnerable for a wait-and-see approach—better a wasted trip than a blind dog.