How is Dry Eye treated?

With correct treatment, Dry Eye can be managed successfully long term. The sooner Dry Eye is diagnosed and correctly treated, the better the long-term outlook for your dog's eyes and vision. As tears are made by the tear tissue, early treatment ensures sufficient tissue remains for your dog to be able to produce enough tears. Your dog will need treatment for the rest of its life to control tear gland destruction and prevent discomfort and undesirable changes to the eyes, including blindness.

Treatment for Dry Eye has two important aspects:

  1. Control of the underlying destruction of the tear glands which we cannot see
  2. Treating the effects on the eyes that we can see, such as redness and discharge

Your vet may prescribe an eye ointment containing the medication ciclosporin. This product is used to treat Dry Eye by over 99% of specialist ophthalmologists and has three important actions. It controls destruction of the tear glands, increases natural tear production and controls painful inflammation. It is the only product available that controls the underlying disease. The sooner the product is used, the better the long term result.

Although ciclosporin is an advanced and powerful agent, the product is formulated to be suitable for long term use.

Once treatment is started the appearance of the eyes should improve - this tells us the treatment is working and not that the disease has been 'cured'. It is very important not to stop treatment at this stage, as the eyes will deteriorate again, causing your dog discomfort and resulting in further damage to the tear glands.

Regular check ups with your vet are an important part of this treatment. It is vital that the tear production is monitored regularly to ensure the condition is being correctly controlled.

Dry Eye before treatment

Early KCS image

With ongoing ciclosporin treatment

Early KCS image