Thursday, February 28, 2013

Irritated Pink or Red Eyes and Dry Eye in Dogs

For the past few years, I, Aspen the Yorkie, have been dealing with red eyes, dry eye, irritated eyes, all kinds of eye problems.  Now that I'm an older dog, I am losing my eyesight, but still get around pretty well.

We have done several posts about eye care, and some were lost during a transfer of this blog, but we have the information and are combining all of it in this single post, that we hope will be helpful to you.

First we start with a post we did when my Veterinarian decided the condition I was suffering was allergies.  My owner carefully treated my eyes as described for almost a year before we learned there was more to my is that post:

This was originally posted about 2 years ago - Lately we've had a hard time keeping my tear ducts clear and eyes clear of the mucous or whatever that "goo" is that forms in the eye. We went to the vet, and were told that it was allergies.

My owner was trying the home-made drops that she uses for my infections that she makes with a Golden Seal tea, an herb that kills infection, but the Vet didn't think they were infected. He said that it was more likely to be allergy related. Because of the allergies, my eyes make more goo, which dries in my tear ducts, so my owner has to clean them, which I hate, but it feels good when it's done.

The vet suggested saline solution, and when we went to the pharmacy to get some, they told us to buy a large bottle of "Sensitive Eyes" Saline Solution by Bausch & Lomb or similar company that makes the same thing rather than waste our money on those little bottles of eye drops. It cost under $4.00 at the time we bought the big bottle and lasts a LONG time. The bottle has a dropper type top with a little cap, so is handy to use right from the big bottle.

Getting the drops into my eyes can be interesting because I like to fight the process as much as possible, but by owner somehow gently but firmly holds the scruff of my neck...the same place a mother dog uses to carry her puppies, and then gently holds back my eyelid somehow with her fingers, and squeezes a few drops into my's tricky, but she does it, then gently picks away the dried "stuff" from the corner of my eyes, and if necessary gently wipes the "goo" from my eyes with a cotton ball made damp with the same saline eye drops.

She also makes sure that the hair is trimmed around my eyes so that it doesn't get into my eyes, another thing that causes irritation.

Even though I fight the process, it feels good when it's all done!
Time went by, and it seemed that the problem never went away, was always there, so we wondered if it was something more than allergies, but kept on cleaning the eyes daily, until I had to go to the Vet for another reason.  It was then that we learned the problem was a condition called "dry eye" eyes don't make tears, so form the mucous or "goo" we were talking about earlier as a natural way of protecting the eyes in the absence of tears.  So in addition to the cleaning, I now have to have a drop of prescription called "Tacrolimus" made by a compounding pharmacy, and put in each eye each day.  Usually they have to be cleaned as described above first.  I have a very patient owner to do this for me every day, and don't like it, but am getting used to it.