Corneal Ulcers Due To Low Tear Production (Dry Eyes in Bulldogs)
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) is corneal injury inflected by a decreased tear production, hence the name “dry eye”. In bulldogs most KCS’s cases are due to an immune mediated disease and are more common in adults then bulldog puppies. Inadequate tears will lead to painful ulcers, corneal inflammation, scaring and eventually impaired vision. The diagnosis is two parts, first in order to detect if there an active corneal ulcer your vet will conduct a fluorescein staining of your bully cornea and then examine the stained area under a UV light source in a dark room. Then a “Schiemer Tear Test” will be conducted which is a litmus like test design to measures your bulldog tear production.
First clean and remove all the debris and mucus from the eyes, a simple inexpensive OTC hypotonic eye wash will do. Dry eye medications are based on immune suppressant topical ophthalmic ointments or drops, like Cyclosporine or Tacrolimus. In addition, most times your veterinarian will have you also apply oral and topical ophthalmic antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory (steroids) ophthalmic medication. This daily treatment is a lifelong commitment; there are no other ways to prevent the corneal deterioration.
KCS is a common condition in French and English bulldogs and typically seen in adults rather than bulldog puppies ; it can affect both or initially just one eye, and later the other. I recommend testing your bully’s tear production any time your bully has an eye problem, particularly a corneal one.
Tip: OTC lubricants and irrigating eye drops are allowed, but not as a replacement for the ophthalmic Rx listed above.
Tip: Some of those prescription tear stimulus ophthalmic drops are expensive, so don’t be wasteful one drop on the eye is enough.
Tip: Always clean the mucus and debris from the eyes before applying the ophthalmic Rx.
Tips: If you adding OTC arithmetical tear make sure you do so at least two hours after app-laying the topical prescription ophthalmic medication
Tip: Tacrolimus is the latest topical tear production enhancement and might be more effective then cyclosporine, though both can be used simultaneously for better results.
Tip: Some cases of bulldog dry eyes (KCS) are compounded by allergies (Atopic allergic Dermatitis, Food Allergy), due to itching of the eyes, and swelling of the eyelid. Controlling the allergies can aid in controlling your bulldog dry eye.
Tip: I recommend surgically fixing your bulldog puppy cherry eye. Leaving your bulldog “cherry eye” and postponing surgery correction can lead to cornice irritation of your bulldog puppy eyes that can lead to a “dry eye” condition….for more information click here
Warning: Ophthalmic steroids should not be used on an active corneal ulcer because it can impede healing, always check with your veterinarian before using one.
Warning: Bulldogs dry eye is a lifelong commitment; treatments must be done daily for life. Not doing so is going to allow a continuous deterioration of your bully’s cornea leading to pain, infection and impaired or lost vision.
Warning: Rarely, the underlying cause of dry eye (KCS) are improper use of sulfa antibiotic drugs, hypothyroidism, Neurogenic dry eyes and facial nerve paralysis (no blink reflex), rather than immune mediated. In those cases the treatment would vary based on the atypical underlying condition.
Warning: Do not let your bulldog puppy stick his or her head out of your car windows while driving, when doing so make sure to place protective googles over the eyes
Warning: Expressive use of antihistamine like Benadryl can effect tear production, thus compound your bulldog dry eye condition (KCS)
Warning: I dont recommend using Viasine tear lubricants on your bulldog, becouse it can cause vasoconstiction of blood vessels and eventually worsen your bulldog KCS dry eye condition