Dog Dry Eye Causes And Treatment Options
We have all experienced the discomfort of dry eyes at one time or another, which can usually be treated using a variety of techniques. Humans are not the only ones who may suffer from dry eyes; in fact, it is not uncommon for dogs to have dry eyes and not get any dry eye treatment due to the difficulty of diagnosing dry eyes. Dogs are not like humans; they cannot tell you that their eyes are feeling dry, itchy and sore. Do you know what to do when your dog has dry eyes, and what signs to look out for? How do you relieve your pet of the itching, irritation and dryness that they may be experiencing? Read on to find out how to treat dry eyes in a dog.
Establish that your dog has dry eyes that need to be treated. Symptoms of dry eyes in your pet include itching or scratching at the eye and face area, increased blinking and rubbing their face on the floor. They are usually doing this to relieve some of the itching and irritation, not unlike what we do when we rub our eyes. You may also be able to see that your dog's eyes may not look as glossy as they normally do; they may appear a bit dull or less shiny than normal. The first thing that you need to do is to get your dog to a veterinarian to rule out any serious problems that may be causing the dryness and irritation. Assuming that this is a temporary condition for your pet, and that it does not require medical treatment, dry eyes treatment for dogs is relatively simple.
Visine eye drops make a great lubricant for human and pet eyes alike. All you need to do is apply two drops in each eye three times per day for extreme cases of dryness. You can try applying Visine eye drops less frequently for minor cases of dryness. After three days of treatment, decrease the application to twice per day, and work your way down to once per day. Decrease your treatment slowly, until your pet no longer requires the additional lubrication that is being provided by the eye drops. Eye drops can actually become addicting. Especially in humans, we often find that we require more eye drops and more frequent application in order to obtain the same level of relief that we were accustomed to when we first started using eye drops. Be sure that this does not happen to your pet, by weaning them off of the eye drops as quickly as possible. Lubricating drops should be used as a temporary relief, not a long term option. If your pet requires long term relief of dryness, you may want to speak with your vet about other options, such as natural tear stimulants and other medications that can help your pet create natural eye lubrication. These are generally available by prescription only and should only be used under the advice of your veterinarian.
How To Apply Eye Drops To A Dog
Learning how to give your dog eye drops can be a bit tricky at first, but will get easier with practice. To apply the eye drops, tilt your dog's head upward. Using your hand to hold your dog's head steady, use your thumb or forefinger to hold the eye open, and apply the eye drops. If you have a larger breed of dog, you may want to have two people available; one to hold the head steady and the other to apply the drops.
If the condition does not improve, or persists for more than a week or two without getting better, make an appointment to see your veterinarian. Your pet may require a prescription treatment which might include antibiotic ointment or drops in order to provide your dog relief from dry, itchy eyes.