This week we will be telling you the story of Molly, a sweet little Shih-Tzu who presented to the Main West Animal Hospital. Veterinarian Dr. Kristin Butler initially noticed tearing and squinting in her left eye. After a physical examination and thorough ophthalmic exam were performed, it was found that she had a large ulcer on her left eye. The likely cause of the ulcer was found to be that her eyes were not producing enough tears, which is a condition called ‘dry eye’ or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). So poor Molly had not only an ulcer to treat but also dry eyes to worry about.
The most common breeds affected are Boston Terriers, Dachsunds, Chihuahuas, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Bulldogs, Lhasa apso’s, miniature schnauzers, West Highland white terrier, Yorkshire terrier, and Shih Tzus.
This disease when present makes the surface of the eye drier than usual which means that the delicate surface is more prone to getting scratched and damaged, and similar to the case of Molly, can lead to a scratched cornea or ulcer. Fortunately it can be treated with medications that are applied to the eye, but the treatment in most dogs is lifelong.
If there are any other problems on the eye, like an ulcer, that is usually treated first. In Molly’s case she responded very well to the ulcer treatment due to the hard work of her owners and quick diagnosis from her veterinarian. She was then started on her long term eye medications to help control the KCS. She is currently doing great, which makes her owners and the team at Main West Animal Hospital very happy.