View Full Version : Dylan's never ending visits to the vet.

24th January 2009, 11:16 PM
I'm rather fed up tonight. I took Dylan for a nice walk along the seafront, came home, two hours later he can hardly open his eyes. I looked in the fridge for recent tubes of eye drops/gel/ointment (we've had the lot). I had 4 different ones and looked at the dates, 10/09/08, 17/11/08, 11/12/08, 18/12/08, that's VERY frequent isn't it. I've had to put some ointment in even though it's a little older than a month as this can't wait till Monday.

I am sick of him getting ill every time I take him out. By a process of elimination, it seems we are only ok if we stick to pavement walking. I considered dry eye but he does not have watery eyes.

He was finally able to have his boosters jabs, all booked for Tuesday. We have put this off so many times as he is ill with one thing or another and now he is having the eye drops with antibiotics in it so the vet might put it off again ( I haven't asked him yet). I was worried about the boosters anyway. If you leave it too long, do you have to have the full course of vaccines instead of boosters?

We also just got him over diarrhea. :sl*p:

24th January 2009, 11:24 PM
Oh no! Poor Dylan, he seems to have a string of bad luck at the moment, fingers crossed he will be feeling better soon!

25th January 2009, 12:06 AM
Hello Pauline
Isn't dry eye when the production of tears is not working properly? Perhaps if its a bit windy or sandy on the seafront it might dry out the eyes ? I believe it is possible to get artificial tears but obviously it would be best to get the accurate diagnosis first.
So sorry poor Dylan is having more problems ,as for his boosters I would be tempted to delay them but that is my personal feeling. Others may be able to comment on their ideas.

25th January 2009, 12:21 AM
Thanks Emily and Evelyn.

I think I've heard that when a dog has dry eye, they water more than usual to compensate. I'll take a look in the health section...

25th January 2009, 12:47 AM
Mindy has dry eye in one eye and she doesn't produce tears in that eye. Therefore she can't wash the normal daily junk away and is very prone to infection if she wasn't on Optimune. I'm fairly sure you just have to get the annual booster even if it is put off a bit. I'm sorry Dylan hasn't been well.

25th January 2009, 01:01 AM
I think I've heard that when a dog has dry eye, they water more than usual to compensate.

No, dry eye (keratoconjuctivitis sicca) is just what it says - the eye does not produce enough tears and because of that the eye is very dry and dirt/dust, etc. isn't properly washed away. The eye surface LOOKS dry, and there is a gunky yellowish discharge caused by the debris that gathers and that is not washed away as it normally would be with normal tear production. Untreated dry eye can lead to corneal ulcers. Treatment is cyclosporin drops or ointment which can actually increase tear production. In mild cases you could perhaps use artificial tears or you can use them in addition to cyclosporin drops.

I currently have two (a Cavalier and a Shih Tzu) with dry eye and have had several in the past with this. I've also dealt with glaucoma, corneal ulcers, etc. I am lucky to be near a good board certified ophthalmologist - but dry eye can be easily handled by a GP vet as it isn't very complicated to manage.

Dry eye is very easily diagnosed with a Schirmer Tear Test (STT) an inexpensive test that the GP vet can do. They place a strip at the corner of the eye and time it and then look at the measurement of tears on the test strip. The problem is easily controlled by regular application of drops/ointment.

What kinds of drops/ointment do you have on hand? What has the vet diagnosed before when he/she prescribed the drops/ointment?


25th January 2009, 01:08 AM
The eye surface LOOKS dry...

...What kinds of drops/ointment do you have on hand? What has the vet diagnosed before when he/she prescribed the drops/ointment?

Thanks Pat. Dylan's eye does not look dry but I will ask the vet to do the dry eye test. Dylan has been diagnosed with conjunctivitis as the fleshy part of the eye lids become swollen. Does this happen with dry eye?

25th January 2009, 01:30 AM
Typing from Ettinger and Feldman "Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine" page 66, Chapter 18 "Red Eye":


Conjunctivitis is one of the more frustrating diseases in small animal ophthalmology. It tends to be a diagnosis of exclusion: a red eye with no other findings. Conjunctivitis is by definition inflammation of the conjunctiva. Sometimes there is conjunctival edema (chemosis) (note from Pat - Dylan seems to have this). Often there is a mucoid or mucopurulent discharge. (means gunky!)

blah blah blah skipping some text

A Schirmer tear test should always be the first test performed in cases of red eye with a mucoid or mucopurulent discharge. (So I guess Dylan doesn't have this kind of discharge?) Most cases of chronic conjunctivitis (sounds like Dylan's is chronic) in dogs are caused by keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). (which as I said above, is the proper name for dry eye)

There are no known causes of primary infectious conjunctivitis in dogs, unlike cats. blah, blah more text

Eyelid disease can be a cause of chronic conjunctivitis. blah blah Dogs with ectropion often have reddened conjunctiva. blah blah If the conjunctivitis is not caused by KCS or eyelid disease, one can postulate allergic conjunctivitis (not well defined in dogs and must be bilateral) (bilateral means both eyes - note from Pat), irritation (dogs who ride with their heads out of windows) and idiopathic (note from Pat - idiopathic means that the cause is not known).

There is a nifty flow chart showing symptoms, what tests to do, what to do next, etc.
I'm happy to scan and email these pages to you if you'd like to read the complete text.

I'd be very suspicious of dry eye - has he had a STT?


25th January 2009, 01:41 AM
Thanks Pat, that was very kind of you to look that up for me and save me using my dictionary;) Dylan hasn't had a STT. I'll call the vet on Monday and ask for him to do an STT at the Tuesday appointment for his boosters. If we can't get the jabs done at least the appointment won't be waisted. I had just persuaded the vet to do the jabs in two sessions, lepto one week and the others the next with no extra consult fee. Spending a LOT of money at the vet lately.

Elaine 2
25th January 2009, 01:42 AM
Oh poor little Dylan. he seems to have one thing after another to cope with sending gentle hugs his way. l hope his sore eye feels better soon once the drops start to work

25th January 2009, 01:47 AM
Our 7 year old shih tzu has alot of problems. My grown son, who is very attached to him and our shih tzu loves him to death also, calls him "high maintenance" and he is. He has allergies--he has dry eye--I bathe him and he gets a rash--on and on and on. I've learned to live with it. What else can you do. Sometimes I feel like screaming but he of course can't help it and we all love him. Hang in there--it does get frustrating. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully a better day.

25th January 2009, 01:56 AM
Thanks Elaine and Linda. This forum is great, you don't have yo wait long for great advice.

25th January 2009, 02:47 AM
btw you're up very late Pauline. I was in the UK in September--seems like its 5 hrs. difference so that means its 2 am there. You're a niteowl. Here it is 9:45 and we're heading to bed--lol.

brid kenny
25th January 2009, 03:07 AM
hope he's better soon Pauline. The sand may have irritated a dry eye alright. Let us know how he is tomorrow.

25th January 2009, 07:46 AM
Ilsa has dry eye and her right eye was constantly red, twitchy and not opening properly. The treatment is so simple and while it's still a bit pinkish sometimes in the morning she's feeling much better.

Until you see the vet you could wash it with saline several times a day, especially after walks if that seems to be aggravating it.

Hope he feels better soon

Jen and Ilsa

25th January 2009, 08:15 AM
Oh,so sorry pauline.Alfs seemed to be at the vets at least once a month.Its hard.Jus

Jan Bell
25th January 2009, 08:57 AM
Sorry to hear Dylan is in the war sagain. The continuous visits to the vet do get you down don't they?

I'm fortunate that neither of my dogs have anything major wrong with them, yet still I seem to have a very personal relationship with the veterinary surgery.

I got to know my veterinary surgery very well when I had my Welsh Springer Becky who had everything wrong with her possible - alergy to house dust mite, anal gland problems, arthritis in one of her legs after an injury, enlarged heart as she got older.... the list was endless. The receptionist knew my voice without an introduction, and waved me off each time saying "see you soon". But Becky still lived in relative comfort until she was 12, so that can't be bad.

Toby has had dry eye since he was three years old: we first noticed that the third eyelid kept coming up and the eye kept looking pinkish. Our vet diagnosed dry eye straight away, and he has been on Optimmune drops daily ever since which have been wonderful. Incidentally, I was told that the use by date on the drops I give him are very conservative and that they work perfectly well for a lot longer.

I hope that you get Dylan's eye problems sorted out soon - let us know what happens.

25th January 2009, 09:21 AM
Linda. Hi, yes I am a terrible night owl. I still get up at 8-8:30am.

Brid. Dylan's eyes look all better this morning but I know this can be deceiving so I am continuing with the cream. He had a tiny bit of sleep in the one that was not so sore looking. The sleep was not puss like so I am pleased by that.

Jen. Saline is a good idea. I can get that cheap too from Boots, assuming I can use a solution made for humans.

Justine. Thanks love. I think the cream has worked well but I will have to take him to the vet anyway this week.

Jan. His eyes are not pink so I'm hoping thats a good sign. Sometimes they go a little pink if I'm up very late. I try to remember to turn the lights off and use a lamp so he goes sound asleep.

I am hoping I can just get something over the counter at Boots for him if he has dry eye as it's now gone up to £10 a prescription at my vets.

25th January 2009, 10:15 AM
So sorry to hear about Dylan, can`t give you any advice, never had trouble with eyes, but do hope. he will be better soon, he looks so lovely, so sad he is having such a bad time.

25th January 2009, 11:02 AM
Sorry to hear Dylan is unwell Pauline. Hopefully it's nothing too serious :xfngr:

25th January 2009, 12:00 PM
Glad Dylans eyes are a bit better. I guess the cream you are putting in is helping keep at bay the yellow "gunk" that can develop with dry eye. So it still may be a possibility he has it but as many have commented it can be sorted and controlled. Hope you get a more helpful diagnosis next time you go to the Vet. Good Luck

25th January 2009, 12:17 PM
Having slightly pink eyes isn't necessarily a concern. All my dogs can get like this by the end of the day -- just like some people get reddish eyes by the end of a day, especially if they've been out in wind. I think you really need to confirm with a vet that this is actually an issue. The dry eye test is simple. I wouldn't be putting lots of medicated creams into a the eyes if there is no need to do so. It may just be a little saline would make him more comfortable and that the pinkishness is absolutely normal. None of what you are describing sounds very unusual to me for a large eyed breed. Some of mine get some gunk in eyes in the morning and some have nothing so this may not really be a gauge of much of anything.

On vaccines -- keep in mind that the standard vet school recommendation is only every three years anyway, excepting lepto. I would definitely NOT give a dog with SM annual boosters -- absolutely, positively not; there is simply no point to give ANY dog annual boosters and definitely not a dog that already has its health defences under daily pressure. If you are concerned about even every three years then talk to your vet about doing a titre as you may not even need them that often.

25th January 2009, 03:19 PM
Thanks Karlin. Do you think the vet will have this test at the surgery or will I have to give them some warning? It costs £23 for a consult at my vets so I want to get this all done in one session. I let him have lepto every year and the others every other year. So it's been 2 years since he them.

25th January 2009, 03:31 PM
Pauline, ugh, you just are always dealing with something with poor Dylan!
I agree with Karlin about the pink eyes. Bandit, especially gets bloodshot eyes when he is tired or has been out in the wind. I do clean his face around his eyes and rinse his eyes with saline if they look irritated in case they have pollen, dust or something irritating them. You might try that with Dylan.

25th January 2009, 07:29 PM
Hope little Dylan is feeling better.

25th January 2009, 08:58 PM
Hope Dylan's eyes are better
Dry eye (Keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is so common in the Cavalier. Having conjunctivitis / needing eye medicaiton so commonly is very suspicious for this. Every vet should be able to do a test for dry eye (Schirmer tear test) however even if normal (and it can be normal in borderline cases) if you keep on having problems then it is worth having a trial of the liscensed medication (optimmune) becasue catching it now can make it easier to treat in the long run
best wishes - Scrumpymum :paw:

26th January 2009, 10:28 AM
I phone the vet today to make sure they have the tear test in for my appointment tomorrow. She said yes, and it's a very simple test. Cheap is all I'm interested in! Spoke it over with Margaret last night and realised that actually it might be covered by insurance as all the other times we were treating conjunctivitis. I'd say it was only this weekend I suspected dry eye, especially as it cleared up over night and we were on the sea front which would be a bit breezy. I'm not worried as his eyes look fine otherwise so if they are dry, I'd say only slightly. Margaret suggested washing them after each walk and I think that the best idea.

So we have the vet for boosters and tear test tomorrow.

Thanks for all your advice.