The eyes are important and delicate structures that require extra attention to keep them healthy. An essential part of your dog or cat’s annual check-up is the eye exam. Since our pets cannot tell us about vision changes, it’s important to report any problems or concerns to your veterinarian. Many eye diseases are time-sensitive and may require prompt treatment to prevent them from worsening. Fortunately, some eye conditions can be managed or treated when caught in the early stages. Learn more about tears, dry eye, tear staining, and I-Drop Vet eye products on our blog below.
Why are Tears Important?
Continuous tear production and distribution is essential to maintain a healthy eye. The tears clean the surface of the eye, keep the cornea hydrated and oxygenated, lubricate the eyelids, nourish tissue, and provide natural healing. Tears are produced by two different tear glands and spread across the eyes with each blink to keep them coated. Allergies, infections, genetics, hormone conditions, immune reactions, eye deformities, nerve damage, and certain medications may interfere with normal tear production.
Dry eye, also called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), occurs when the body does not produce enough tears or the tears cannot lubricate the eye normally. It can cause irritation, redness, inflammation, and discharge. When left untreated, dry eye can damage the surface of the eye known as the cornea. Furthermore, resulting in corneal ulcers and vision loss. KCS may be commonly caused by other diseases, immune system conditions, or medication. Certain breeds are more likely to develop dry eye, especially Brachycephalic cat and dog breeds with shortened snouts. Common warning signs of dry eye include:
- Eye redness
- Eye irritation and pain
- Excessive squinting or blinking
- Thick or mucous-like eye discharge
- Tear staining
- Accumulation of eye secretions or debris around the eyes and eyelids
If you suspect your dog or cat is having eye problems, talk with your veterinarian. Diagnosing dry eye or other conditions may involve an exam, a tear test, corneal staining, and checking eye pressure.
Tear stains appear as brown or reddish colored fur around the corner of eyes. Due to appearance, tear stains are often considered unpleasant, especially on light-colored dogs and cats. Staining may indicate an underlying medical condition, so it’s important to talk with your veterinarian. Common causes of tear stains may include natural tear pigment, genetics, abnormal tear production, eye malformations, infection, allergies or eye condition. To help prevent staining, try incorporating some facial hygiene and grooming practices into your pet’s routine. Trim hair around the eyes to prevent irritation and tearing. Flush debris and mucous away from the eyes with sterile eye drops or eye cleanser solution. Cleanse and dry the fur and skin on the face and muzzle, especially facial folds.
Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are important for catching signs of disease and allow you to discuss any concerns about your pet’s eye health.
I-Med offers a line of ophthalmic products for dogs and cats to hydrate, clean, and protect the eyes.
I-Drop VET Gel
Provides superior relief for dogs and cats with moderate to severe chronic dry eye. This blink activated lubricating drop provides long-lasting hydration to the entire surface of the eye and stabilizes the tear film. This is a preservative-free solution and comes in a multi-dose bottle.
I-Drop VET Plus
Provides immediate relief and lasting comfort for dogs and cats with acute or seasonal dry eye conditions. This blink activated, lubricating drop coats the entire surface of the eye with every blink. I-Drop Vet continually hydrates and supports the tear film and requires fewer applications.
I-Lid N Lash Cleanser & Wipes
This no-rinse cleanser removes residue, eye secretions, and crusts away from the eyelids, lashes, and facial areas. It helps prevent the formation of tear stains, as well as removing debris. Also, I-Lid N Lash provides hygienic cleansing and prevents facial fold odors. Choose wipes or liquid pump.