Pet Eye Disorders: Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye

Close up of animal eye

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) also known as dry eye is an eye condition resulting from a lack of tear production. Your pet’s vision may be permanently affected if dry eye is not diagnosed and treated at an early stage. Animal Eye Consultants offers diagnosis and treatment protocols for dry eye and other eye abnormalities.

Diagnosing Pet Dry Eye — Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca(KCS)

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), more commonly referred to as “dry eye,” is typically diagnosed with a veterinary eye exam. To protect your pet’s vision, please seek veterinary care if your pet is experiencing any of the signs of dry eye such as:

  • Rubbing or pawing at the face
  • Build-up of crusty or pus-like discharge in the inner pockets of the eye
  • Swollen and crusty eyelids
  • Excessive squinting and blinking
  • Eye redness

Tear testing is required to properly diagnose dry eye and differentiate the symptoms from other possible eye diseases. In addition to a physical exam, other common diagnostic tests for dry eye include:

  • Schirmer Tear Test — Measures the amount of tears produced by your pet by using strips of special filter paper to gently collect tears.
  • Fluorescein Dye Test — Stains the eye to highlight any areas of the cornea that may be ulcerated.
  • Biomicrocopy — Examines the tear film with a hand held microscope.

Treatment for Dry Eye — Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)

Based on your pet’s eye exam results, a proper treatment protocol will be developed for your pet. There are many prescription medications for the treatment of dry eye, which are administered in the form of drops or ointments. They are designed to increase the amount of tears your pet produces, or as a tear replacement.

If prescription medication is ineffective, surgical procedures are available such as:

  • Parotid duct transposition — Rerouting the duct of the salivary gland into the inner pocket of the dog’s eye.
  • Permanent partial tarsorrhaphy — Suturing the upper and lower eyelids together to reduce the amount of your pet’s eye that is exposed to the environment.

Your pet’s eye health is important to us. Their vision may be permanently affected if dry eye is not diagnosed and treated. Our veterinary specialists are available to tailor a treatment for your pet. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.