Dry Eye in Dogs: When Good Glands Go Bad
Dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is a common condition in dogs characterized by decreased tear production that most often results from idiopathic lacrimal gland inflammation with secondary glandular atrophy.1-3
Neurogenic KCS is caused by loss of parasympathetic innervation to the lacrimal gland and is less common than immune-mediated KCS. Neurogenic KCS occurs secondary to chronic otitis, peripheral neuropathies, idiopathic disease, and primary neurologic disease.1,4
Decreased tear production results in corneal and conjunctival cellular hypoxia, debris accumulation, and bacterial overgrowth, causing inflammation of the ocular surface. Clinical signs include conjunctival hyperemia, squinting, and thick, sticky discharge.1-3 (See Figure 1)
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