Dog dry eye: causes, symptoms and treatment

Dog dry eye: causes, symptoms and treatment

Dog dry eye

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or dog dry eye is a condition in which the aqueous tear film on the surface of the eye and the linings of the eyelids is deficient. As a result, the cornea and conjunctiva dry and suffer inflammation.

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Causes of dog dry eye

Dog dry eye is a condition almost exclusive to canines. Although it is regular in all kinds of dogs, it is more common especially in bulldogs, cocker spaniels, Lhasa apsos, West Highland White Terriers and Shih-Tzu.

There are many possible causes of the condition. Some of them are:

  • The most common cause is immune-mediated adenitis, which refers to inflammations caused by a strange behavior of the immune system. The condition is usually associated with other immune diseases;
  • Neurological diseases that result from damage to the nerves controlling eyes and eyelids;
  • Drug-induced (anesthesia and atropine);
  • Drug toxicity with some sulfa-containing drugs;
  • Chlamydia conjunctivitis;
  • Induced by X-ray when a beam comes to close to the eye;
  • Chronic blepharoconjunctivitis;
  • Systemic disease caused by canine distemper virus;
  • A dry nose on the same side as the eye;
  • It is congenital in Yorkshire terriers and pugs.

Symptoms of dog dry eye

The most common type of dry eye is called spontaneous dry eye. Another type includes qualitative tear film deficiencies. Some other dogs are born with the condition, which is bad because this one does not respond positively to treatment.

These are some symptoms of dog dry eye:

  • Swollen vessels of the conjunctiva
  • Blinking in excess
  • Mucus or pus discharge from the day
  • Third eyelid


Sometimes there is a secondary disease with similar symptoms that require staying overnight at the hospital. Your pet, then, will be treated as an outgoing person. The most common form of treatment, chosen by the majority of veterinarians, is the use of artificial term medication.

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