Sharon Kleyne, host of the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, has been researching dry eye and eye hydration for two decades. A lifelong pet owner, she is aware that "dog dry eye" (also known as KCS or kerato-conjunctivitis sicca) can pose a serious health risk to pets and she has offered some easy suggestions to help keep your pet's eyes healthy and hydrated.
Dry eye is far more common among dogs than cats (cats do, however, develop dry eye). According the Sharon Kleyne, dogs are extremely curious, are constantly poking their face into underbrush and often walk with their nose close to the ground, leaving their eyes susceptible to dust, twigs, insects, etc. Other dry eye causes in pets include eye injuries, certain medications (sulfa) and genetic predisposition (Pethealth101).
Dry eye symptoms in dogs include pawing or rubbing of the eyes (which can cause further injury), eye redness, a dull, dry look to the cornea (the clear part of the eye), ocular discharge (gummy, stringy or crusty), hypersensitivity to light, eyelid twitching, inflamed eyelids, squinting and blinking, corneal ulceration and impaired vision (Pethealth101).
Breeds believes especially susceptible to dog dry eye include West Highland White Terrier, American Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Boston Terrier, Dachshund, Chihuahua, German Shepherd Dog, Doberman Pinscher, English Springer Spaniel, Lhasa Apso and Shih-Tzu. Females and neutered males are more commonly affected, especially female Westies (PetWave).
There are numerous commercial medications for pet dry eye that can be obtained from the veterinarian or pet store. If there is a secondary eye infection, that also must be cleared up. Crusty discharge should be wiped away with a clean, wet, warm compress (Pethealth101).
.According to Sharon Kleyne, dry eye occurs when the natural tear film that protects the cornea, lubricates the eyelids and transmits light, loses its normal water content, which should be about 99%. Researchers have long known that the simplest and most natural way to soothe dry eyes is to restore the lost tear film water. In most dry eye cases in humans, that involves adding only about two-to-five millionths of a liter (micro-liters) of water to the tear film's middle or aqueous layer (Mathers).
A viable method and product for administering supplemental water to the tear film in micro-liter quantities has been developed by Sharon Kleyne's Bio-Logic Aqua Research Center. The product is Nature's Tears® EyeMist®, a personal, hand-held eye hydration device that supplements tear film water in pets or humans with a soothing, all-natural, all-water, pH balanced (6.49) mist.
An added benefit to pet owners, Mrs. Kleyne notes, is that Nature's Tears® EyeMist® is quickly applied as a humidifying vapor around the eyes, with, fuss, resistance or pawing at the eyes.
Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water is sponsored by Bio-Logic Aqua Research, whose Nature's Tears® EyeMist® instantly soothes pet dry eye/KCS. Nature's Tears® EyeMist® is available at www.BioLogicAqua.com, Amazon.com, drugstore.com and selected drugstores nationwide.
Listen to the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water Mondays, 10 a.m., PST/PDT. The syndicated radio talk show is heard on Voice America/World Talk Radio, Green Talk Network and Apple iTunes. Go to www.SharonKleyneHour.com for written summaries and on-demand replays. Also visit www.naturestears.com, whatistheeye.wordpress.com, "Nature's Tears EyeMist" on Facebook and "Bio-Logic Aqua" on Twitter.
Mathers, WD, MD, Tear Film and Treatment of Dry Eye Disease, RxSchool, 2005
© 2012 Bio-Logic Aqua Research (119)