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Dry Eye Treatment in Dogs

Treatment options for pets with dry eye (KCS)

Keep your pet's eyes clean by gently wiping away discharge—especially before putting in medicine.

Optimmune (Rx) (cyclosporine ointment) is prescribed if your pet has immune-mediated dry eye. Optimmune may be irritating.

Pilocarpine (Rx) is prescribed if your pet has neurogenic dry eye. Pilocarpine may be irritating, especially to a dry eyeball. To decrease irritation, your veterinarian may recommend that you put artificial tears in the eye for about five minutes before instilling pilocarpine. Artificial tears and lubricant ointments, such as LiquiTears, are recommended to help your pet keep his or her eyes moist.

Topical antibiotics, such as Terramycin (Rx) and Gentamicin Ophthalmic Solution (Rx), are prescribed if your pet has a corneal infection. Acetylcysteine is prescribed to break up mucus. Topical steroids are prescribed only in certain cases, and are never applied topically if your pet has a scratched cornea.

Once dry eye develops, most pets need medication for the remainder of their lives because these medications do not cure the condition; they help control it.

Supplements for dry eye

The following supplements are beneficial for pets with dry eye:

  • Vitamins A, E, and C
  • Vitamin B complex with niacin and pantothenic acid
  • The herb Eyebright (Euphrasia), both as an eye wash and taken internally
  • Liver, raw or cooked, in small amounts to nourish the liver, which according to Traditional Oriental Medicine, is responsible for eye health. Feeding beef or chicken liver benefits any pet that needs help strengthening his or her own liver.

We recommend the following supplements for dry eye: The Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat (for dogs), 1-800-PetMeds Super VitaChews for Dogs, and 1-800-PetMeds VitaChews for Cats.

Recommended pet medications for treating dry eye (KCS)