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Beware! It Could Be Dry Eye In Your Beagle

Posted Dec 01 2010 11:56am

It has been said that a Beagle may lack inherited diseases but, can be affected by a range of eye diseases. The most common are glaucoma and corneal dystrophy and in some rare cases, cherry eye can also exist, especially in your Beagle. Cherry eye is another term for nictitans gland prolapse, a condition wherein the invisible third eyelid prolapses and becomes visible. This disease can be treated, often through surgery wherein the prolapsed gland is pushed back to its original place. There are some cases wherein removal of this gland is required however; this procedure may increase your Beagle’s risk to develop keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca… seems so serious and unusual isn’t it? But don’t be surprise if I say, Keretoconjunctivitis sicca is the medical term for dry eye, a deficiency in the production of tears. It is a condition wherein the eye looks red and inflamed. More often, a sticky or thick creamy to yellow-green discharge occurs at the inside corner and on the hairs around the eyes. The eye may also look dry and lacks luster.

We can always hear some people saying that crying is their outlet of their emotion and that they would feel better after letting their tears out from their eyes. But tears aren’t just for crying over our lost love or anything that is dear to us. Tears play an important role in protecting our eye and in maintaining its healthy condition. It is responsible for cleaning and lubricating the cornea, carry the nutrients, control the infection and also help in healing. With the deficiency in the production of tears, irritation of the cornea and conjunctiva will occur and may further lead to corneal ulcers and corneal scarring. Sadly, this could even lead to blindness. Poor little dog!

Cherry eye is not the only culprit in the occurrence of this disease. Distemper infection may also increase the risk of having dry eye. Exposing the Beagle to sulfa containing antibiotics should be avoided as well as a knock on the head in the area of one of the tear producing glands as this may lead to dry eye, either temporary or permanent.

Once your pet exhibits any of these signs, go and consult your vet for proper and immediate treatment to save your dog’s eye. Generally, the goal in treating dry eye is to restore the moisture of the eye and to treat infections developed because of the deficiency in the production of tears. The tear gland should be stimulated to produce more tears and that is often done with the help of Cyclosporin. It could either be an ointment or an eye drop and should be applied daily for the first dew weeks until such time that progress is evident thus application may be reduced to once daily. Artificial tears, along with other therapies will also work best in treating dry eye in your Beagle. However, this treatment needs to be applied four to six times a day.

Richard Cussons writes articles of various topics. For more information, see Beagle and learn more about Beagle dog here.

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