Dry Eye Awareness Month

One in 22 dogs are at risk of blindness due to eye disease

How to recognise a ‘Cry’ for help during Dry Eye Awareness Month

A recent survey1 discovered that nearly half (46%) of dog owners were not aware that dogs can potentially suffer from Dry Eye, a condition that affects the equivalent of around 375,000 dogs in the UK.2

As part of Dry Eye Awareness Month, Bayer, distributors of Remend™ Dry Eye Lubricant drops are warning dog owners of the potentially serious risks to their pet’s eyesight if this condition is left unnoticed and are encouraging them to have their dog’s tear production tested regularly by their vet.

Dry Eye is a condition where insufficient tears are produced by the tear glands. It is usually due to the destruction of a dog’s tear glands – rendering them unable to produce the normal amount of tears. This condition leads to severe discomfort and, if left untreated can progress to have very serious consequences, including scarring and even blindness.

For predisposed breeds, such as Pugs, Cocker Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, the risk can be as much as a 20 per cent chance of developing the condition3. As the early signs are often subtle, it is not always easy to detect, even for those keeping a keen eye on their pet.

Dry Eye symptoms can vary but the most obvious signs are:

  • • Repeated episodes of conjunctivitis or ulcers in the eye(s)
  • • Signs of discomfort in the eye(s)
  • • Excessive blinking or rubbing of the eye(s)
  • • Discharge from the eye(s)
  • • A dry or dull appearance of the eye(s)
  • • Redness of the eye(s)

Chris Dixon, an ophthalmologist at Veterinary Vision referral practice explains: “Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS), also known as Dry Eye, is one of the most common ocular conditions vets can see in dogs. Unfortunately we often see cases where the condition has not been noticed, and dogs have sadly developed long term damage as a result. Early diagnosis is essential and can have a significant impact on the long-term prognosis for affected pets. Your vet can perform a simple test in just a few minutes to detect if your dog has the initial symptoms of Dry Eye, and if he or she is one of the predisposed breeds it is highly recommended to have your dog tested annually.

Alongside treatment for the underlying condition, vets will usually recommend the use of artificial tears; such as Remend™ Dry Eye Lubricant drops. The use of artificial tears is important in helping to manage canine Dry Eye effectively and to keep animals as comfortable as possible.

To help communicate the effects of unmanaged Dry Eye, Bayer have launched the ‘Eye Promise’ social media pledge, which invites dog owners to commit to proactively testing and treating their dog. View the pledge on the Jungle For Pets Facebook page – www.facebook.com/jungleforpets

For more information on Dry Eye and how it can affect your dog go to: http://www.remend.co.uk

PDWRA would like to thank Bayer Animal Health for their permission to post this information on our website.