Ask Seth: Recurring Eye Infections in Dogs

My Shih Tzu, Bianca, has repeated eye infections. Why does this continue to happen?  How should we treat this to prevent infections from occurring?

It sounds like Bianca has dry eye, also known as Canine Keratoconjunctitivitis Sicca (KCS).  This is usually caused by insufficient tear production that dries out the cornea, making it prone to infection and damage. This is common in breeds like Shih Tzu, Pugs, Bulldogs and Cocker Spaniels. This condition is commonly seen in breeds with “pushed-in” faces and bulging eyes. In breeds where the eyelids do not completely cover the eye, this physical trait can result in the center of the cornea drying out when the tear production is insufficient. Your veterinarian can perform a test that will show if Bianca is producing a sufficient amount of tears to keep her eye wet enough to prevent damage or infection. KCS treatment usually consists of artificial tears and/or ophthalmic antibiotic ointment when secondary infections are present. Consult your veterinarian about Bianca. Eye injuries and infections can be painful and when the animal begins to scratch the eye because it is uncomfortable, this condition can quickly go from dry eye to very bad corneal abrasion.

Do you have any experience with KCS? Share with us in the comments!

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