Westie with Dry Eye

Author: VioVet
Published: Sunday 20th January 2013

Our customer asked:

My Westie is prescribed optimmune for dry eye. Unfortunately this causes the skin around and under the eyes to be very red and sore. My vet prescibed a course of Atopica for 1 month.
Could you please advise if there is any alternative treatment on the market for this condition?

Our reply:

This sounds a bit unusual and so it is not easy for me to help without seeing your dog. Dry Eye itself will cause sore eyes if the problem is not adequately controlled. It does not normally affect the skin nearby however, so that is an added complication. Since your vet has prescribed Atopica, then he/she must be thinking that an allergic/immune-mediated factor is involved with the skin, which is not normally part of the Dry Eye condition.

Often Dry Eye is associated with a mucoid discharge from the eyes and secondary bacterial infections are common. These can usually be best treated with occular lubricants and antibiotic drops, combined with simple bathing of the eyes and keeping them clean, wiping away any discharge. If there is any discharge tending to build up near the eyes, then this can be gently cleaned away 2 or 3 times a day, using dilute salt water or Cleanocular. Other than that, the treatments are mostly prescription-only so you would have to ask your vet about them. Optimmune is indeed the treatment of choice for Dry Eye. Atopica does sound an unusual choice for this type of problem so you would need to talk to your own vet about treatment if you are unsure.