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Covid 19 Ophthalmology for Animals - August 6, 2020

Veterinary care is an essential part of our community and we want to assure you that our hospital is open and will continue to provide services at this time. We also want to work with you and our staff to limit direct contact in order to focus on safety for everyone during this pandemic. Accordingly, we ask that you follow the below steps for the safety of all:

  • Upon arrival at the hospital, please remain in your vehicle and call us.
  • After receipt of the call, we will check you in as soon as possible from outside the hospital.
  • If you are at the hospital to pick up medication, please remain in your car outside the hospital and call the front desk. We will deliver your order to your car as quickly as possible.
  • If you are not feeling well or may be at risk of exposure to coronavirus, please ask a healthy friend or family member to transport your pet to the hospital on your behalf.
  • We will do our best to coordinate your visit from outside the hospital, including providing follow up instructions and taking payments.

Ophthalmology for Animals, Inc., we have various ways to help care for your pets without a trip or call to the hospital.

  1. Home Delivery: medications, including prescriptions and refills, can be ordered by sending us an email or text
  2. Email: your questions, concerns, prescription refills, and pictures. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

Our goal is to keep our essential services available to the communities we serve and be there for you and your pets. Thank you for your cooperation and for doing your part in helping to keep pets and people safe, and please don’t hesitate to call with questions.

We anticipate our phone lines will be busier than usual, and therefore, we appreciate your patience!

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or “Dry Eye”

dry eye kcsWhat is KCS?

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a disease characterized by inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva (pink tissue covering the whites of the eyes and the inside of the eyelids) secondary to inadequate tear production by the tear glands. When an inadequate level of tears is present, debris and bacteria (that are normally washed away by the tears) build up and a thick mucous discharge forms. The disease is usually caused by inflammation of the lacrimal glands, but can also be caused by the toxic effect of certain drugs on the lacrimal glands or by lack of nerve innervation to the lacrimal glands.

How do I know if my pet has KCS?

Redness, squinting or blinking, and discharge are early signs of disease and indicate irritation and discomfort. Chronic cases will develop pigmentation and scarring of the cornea. The most common sign is a thick yellow-green ocular discharge. Normal tears are necessary to provide nutrition and oxygen to the cornea as well as prevent bacterial overgrowth. Redness, cloudiness, and squinting are signs of irritation due to inadequate tears. Thick discharge develops when the tears are not present to wash away bacteria and debris on the surface of the eye.

How is KCS treated?

Treatment is aimed at promoting your pet’s tear production, reducing inflammation, and supplementing the inadequate tears. Lacrimostimulants are medications that stimulate tear production by the tear glands and decrease inflammation, including cyclosporine and tacrolimus. These medications can take 4-6 weeks before a maximal response is seen, and it is important to supplement the tears at least until that time. Artificial tears work for 30 minutes or so and can be used to supplement tear stimulants.

Parotid duct transposition is a surgical option that can be considered in cases that are non-responsive to medications.

Prognosis depends on your pet’s response to therapy. About 80% of patients with KCS respond favorably to topical lacrimostimulants. Most pets begin to feel better within several days of initiating therapy. Dogs with allergies, poor eyelid conformation, a pronounced globe, or ear disease tend to have more difficult disease.

Visit www.ACVO.org for more information.

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