The nasolacrimal system includes the lacrimal duct. The drainage of tears from the eye is made possible via the nasolacrimal system, which consists of several small tubes. Two tiny apertures in the eyelids, one on the upper and one on the lower, close to the nose, mark the beginning of the nasolacrimal duct. The bigger nasolacrimal duct, which connects these two smaller ducts, descends into the nasal passages. This system enables extra tears to exit the eye and flow into the mouth and nose.
This nasolacrimal duct can become blocked or occluded in some dogs. Tears may overflow and spill out of the eye due to obstruction. The excess tear production may cause dampness and tear stains beneath the eye. The most frequently impacted nasolacrimal duct is the lower one, and obstruction of the lower duct has more clinically obvious symptoms.
What are the possible causes of lacrimal duct obstruction?
The obstruction may occasionally be caused by the dog’s head and muzzle’s size and form. A congenital flaw in how the nasolacrimal duct is formed can potentially result in obstruction. Because of this flaw, there is no opening where the conjunctiva and nasolacrimal duct meet (pink tissue surrounding the eye). Imperforate puncta are what this is known as. Cocker Spaniels are frequently afflicted by this illness, however other breeds might also be.
Although other breeds may be affected, Cocker Spaniels are frequently impacted by this illness.
Lacrimal duct occlusion also occasionally appears after birth. Swelling that obstructs the duct might result from infection or inflammation within the eye or lacrimal duct. Foreign objects that become trapped inside the lacrimal duct or tumors that form along the duct can potentially obstruct the duct.
What are the clinical signs of a lacrimal duct obstruction?
Nasolacrimal duct obstruction symptoms are mostly aesthetic in nature. The majority of affected canines exhibit reddish tear stains on their faces or excessive eye watering. However, in persistent or severe cases, bacteria may start to form in the wet hair around the eyes. The presence of these germs may cause your dog’s face to start to smell bad. A skin infection beneath the eyes in dogs can also cause redness, itching, swelling, and/or hair loss.
How is a lacrimal duct obstruction diagnosed?
The dye fluorescein is frequently used in the diagnosis of nasolacrimal duct blockage. With this dye, even minute amounts of dye can be seen by your veterinarian since it fluoresces (glows) under a black light. The dye is injected into the eyes several times; from there, it should pass through the nasolacrimal duct and appear in the mouth and nose. Within 5 to 10 minutes after delivery, if the dye has not entered the nasal cavity, this may indicate a nasolacrimal duct obstruction.
When a patient is sedated, the veterinarian may use magnification to check the eye to see if a duct opening is present. If this aperture can be seen, saline solution can be flushed into the nasolacrimal duct by inserting a cannula (thin tube) into the orifice. This may be sufficient to remove minor obstructions, but it can also help the veterinarian identify more serious impediments.
“Depending on your pet’s condition, your veterinarian may additionally advise a bacterial culture to determine infection or other testing.”
Additional diagnostic tests could be advised in specific circumstances. Imaging examinations like X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs may be part of these procedures to rule out malignancies that could cause obstruction. Depending on your pet’s condition, your veterinarian may additionally advise a bacterial culture to detect infection or other testing.
How is a lacrimal duct obstruction treated?
Anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics may help to relieve nasolacrimal duct obstruction brought on by inflammation. To increase the likelihood that your dog’s lacrimal duct obstruction will be resolved, take all prescribed meds as directed by your veterinarian and attend all planned rechecks.
Surgery may be needed for treatment in other circumstances. Surgery can be done to remove foreign objects from the duct, widen the duct’s entrance, and remove tumors that are squeezing it. A stent may be implanted to permit passage via the lacrimal duct in more serious situations.
What happens if a lacrimal duct obstruction is not treated?
Nasolacrimal duct obstruction will continue to affect tear staining if untreated. Due to excessive wetness, dogs that are not treated are also more likely to get skin infections around their eyes.
Why is my dog’s eye corner swollen?
According to Vygantas, early cherry eye in dogs is pretty simple to identify. She explains that a fleshy pink bulge in the corner of the eye is a telltale sign of cherry eye or protrusion of the tear gland of the third eyelid. The moniker comes from the fact that this bulge is usually at the corner closest to the nose and resembles a cherry pit in both color and shape. Both eyes may be affected at once or only one.
The good news is that canine cherry eye in its early stages doesn’t hurt. Your dog may not even be aware that something is wrong. However, if left untreated, it might eventually render your dog more susceptible to infections and dry eyes.
The third eyelid’s tear gland is in charge of producing 33 to 66 percent of the tears your dog produces overall. The tear duct doesn’t operate normally when prolapse happens. This gland must be kept safe and reattached to its right location for comfortable eyes and general health.
a healthy Mastiff dog with both eyes’ third eyelid glands protruding or having cherry eyes.
As is the case with this mastiff, some dog breeds are more prone to cherry eye than others.
Can a bulging tear duct be treated?
During the first year of life, the disease typically improves better without any treatment. An injury, an infection, or in rare cases, a tumor may cause a clogged tear duct in an adult.
How are a dog’s tear ducts cleared?
Your dog will need to be immobilized before the flushing of the tear duct since the naso-lacrimal duct is a tiny, delicate structure, making it important to prevent accidental movement during the process. In order to prevent your dog from moving during the flushing treatment, they will be put under general anesthesia or sedated. If general anesthesia is necessary, you must fast your dog for at least eight hours before the procedure. To find the obstruction and decide whether surgical intervention is necessary or if flushing is likely to eliminate the obstruction, a dye may be injected into the eye and radiographs taken prior to the surgery. The first course of treatment is frequently tear duct flushing. Eye drops will be used to give the antibiotic. A tiny catheter, also known as a cannula, is placed into the tear duct entrance after the eyelid is pushed out of the way. With a syringe and very little pressure, sterile fluid is softly inserted into the tear duct. In order to avoid contaminating the eye area, material and mucous are typically washed out this way and removed or cleaned. If the duct is not fully cleaned with the first surgery, which is not unusual, the procedure might need to be repeated in a few weeks. While sedation and anesthetic wear off, your dog is placed in recovery and is being watched.
Canine tear duct swelling be a problem?
The nasolacrimal ducts, which go from the eye into the nose, are the channels via which tear ducts drain tears from the eye. The ducts may swell if they are diseased or obstructed. Self-care techniques like warm compresses and massage are typically effective in treating inflamed tear ducts.
What does a dog’s blocked tear duct look like?
Epiphora is one of the primary signs of clogged tear ducts in dogs, but in addition to dampness around the eyes, you can also detect dark discharge or reddish-brown tear streaks in your dog’s eye, advises petMD.
How should a dog’s bulging eye be treated?
Call your veterinarian right away if one or both of your dog’s eyes are enlarged. Until you can get your dog into the hospital, they could advise straightforward, at-home remedies like warm compresses, a saline eye rinse, or oral antihistamines like diphenhydramine. Once your dog has been examined and the reason for the swollen eyes has been identified, a prescription for antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or steroids may be issued. Depending on what caused the swelling, various treatments such as surgery, dental work, or other procedures can also be required.
Can clogged tear ducts self-resolve?
When your nasal passageways are unable to effectively remove tear lubricant from your eyes, a clogged tear duct develops. You can get wet, inflamed, or itchy eyes. Babies can occasionally be born with clogged tear ducts. You might need surgery if your tear duct is blocked, or it might heal on its own. Most patients fully recover from their symptoms after receiving treatment.
How may a blocked tear duct be treated at home?
The course of treatment for a blocked tear duct varies on the patient’s age and the root of the obstruction. Babies that have just been born frequently have blocked tear ducts. Usually, it clears itself out on its own. If you experience any of the warning signs and symptoms of a blocked tear duct, you should get treatment from a board-certified ophthalmologist. A blocked tear duct can have symptoms that can be treated at home. Before attempting any home cures, always check with your doctor.
The massage of the tear ducts is a significant natural therapy. The tear duct obstruction may be relieved by massaging the eye. You’ll learn how to do it and how frequently from your doctor. This is especially beneficial for children and newborns who have blocked tear ducts. Between the inner corner of the eye and the side of the nose, place a clean index finger. Massage the side of the nose by gently sliding the index finger downward. It can be repeated roughly ten times each in the morning and at night.
Warm compresses can also be applied to reduce discomfort and itching. Warm water and a clean, soft cloth can be used to do this. When using water on youngsters, be sure that it is not too warm. Wring out the excess water after soaking the towel in warm water. Use it frequently throughout the day to gently wipe away extra tears from the eyes while cleaning them. Before massaging or touching the eyes, always cleanse your hands.
In the event that there is an infection, your doctor might advise antibiotic eye drops. Additionally, they could administer drugs to treat other symptoms including pain and itching.
Adults with blocked tear ducts require the care of an ophthalmologist, who can treat the disease in a variety of ways depending on the source of the blockage. The following are a few of the procedures the ophthalmologist may use to clear a blocked tear duct:
- tear duct exploration (a thin metal instrument called a probe is used to unclog the tear duct)
- dilation of the balloon catheter (a thin and flexible tube called a catheter that expands like a balloon is used to remove the blockage)
How should a blocked tear duct be massaged?
- Both before and after the massage, thoroughly wash your hands.
- Put one drop of the prescribed medication in the eye that has to be massaged (__________eye) if your doctor has prescribed eye drops.
- The damaged eye should be close to the side of the child’s nose where you place the tip of your index finger (Picture 2).
- Your index finger should be pressed firmly and quickly moved downward three to five times.
- 3 times a day, in the morning, noon, and evening, repeat these actions.
How can I take care of my dog’s eye infection myself?
Any irritants can be safely removed from a dog’s eye with saline eye drops. These drops won’t hurt and might give your dog’s irritated eye some short-term relief.
Saline eye drops can be gently squirted into your dog’s eye after being acquired from a pharmacy, online, or a pet store. They differ from contact lens solutions. The extra components in contact lens solution for humans make it unsafe to use in a dog’s eye. To avoid damaging the sensitive eye tissues, always be sure to keep the tip of the drug a short distance away from the eye’s surface.
Not All Eye Problems In Dogs Are Infections
Your dog may occasionally exhibit symptoms of an eye infection while actually suffering from another kind of eye issue.
Glaucoma, tear duct issues or eye deformities, dry eye, vitamin insufficiency, exposure to or ingestion of toxins, tumors, cherry eye, or structural issues with the eye itself, such as entropion, are some of the eye disorders in dogs that pet owners frequently mistake for illnesses.
Similar to infections, these eye conditions can be uncomfortable and necessitate prompt veterinary attention.
Symptoms of Eye Infections in Dogs
You might experience one or more of the following signs if your dog’s eye is infected. If your dog is exhibiting any symptoms of an eye infection, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian right once. Eye infections need to be treated and could get worse if they are not.
Following are symptoms of canine eye infections:
- Having red eyes or the area around them
- Swelling around eye
- weeping or watery discharge
- icky, thick discharge
- blinking and squinting
- keeping the eye closed
- responsiveness to light
- pawing at the eye or stroking it
Dog Eye Infection Treatment
Depending on the underlying reason, your dog’s eye infection may need to be treated with a single topical treatment, a combination of topical and oral medications such antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, or even surgery in extreme situations.
- Antibiotics and eye drops are frequently administered if it is determined that your dog’s eye illness is caused by a bacterial infection.
- The veterinarian will probably recommend an antihistamine to assist calm your dog’s eyes when allergies are thought to be the cause of their eye infections.
- While your dog is sedated or under local anesthetic, your veterinarian might need to remove any foreign bodies or debris that is irritating the eye.
- Surgery is frequently necessary for blocked tear ducts, then eye medications and antibiotics are used.
- To encourage the formation of tears in dogs with dry eyes or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), drugs like cyclosporine or tacrolimus may be administered.
- Surgery is typically used to repair eyelid or eyelash defects that cause the lashes to push against the eyeball.
My dog has an eye infection, what should I do?
The truth is that you should take your dog to the vet right away if they exhibit any signs of eye sensitivity, inflammation, or pain.
Your dog’s eyes will feel better when your veterinarian does a complete eye exam to identify the source of the symptoms and provide the best possible care. Eye infections that go untreated can get really bad and even cause vision loss.
Please take note that the information in this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice for animals. Please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a precise diagnosis of your pet’s illness.