Canine Dry Eye Treatment

by John
(New York, NY)

Reader Question: How Long Does It Take To Treat A Dog's Dry Eye?

My dog has dry eye. Have tried 2 medications and trying a 3rd now. His tear # was 2 and now it is normal. Will he need to take medicine his entire life? He bites when he gets scared and it is very difficult getting medicine his eyes. Can't he take an oral medication/pill? Is it contagious?

Have a lab. She has been diagnosed as anti-social aggressive towards dogs. He loves people. I'm afraid she is going to get hurt going after dogs. HELP. I love her.

Veterinarian Gives Timetable For Treating A Dog's Dry Eye


Assuming that your dog has the most common type of dry eye, yes, you will need to continue medications for the rest of his life, and, no, there isn’t a good way to treat him with oral versus topical medications. I think your best option is to teach him to look forward getting his eye meds. Give him a small piece of his favorite type of treat beforehand and then multiple times throughout the procedure as long as he remains calm and cooperative. Eventually you should be able to wean him down to a treat before and after. Make sure you reduce the total amount of food you are offering him to compensate for the extra calories.

Regarding your dog aggressive lab, you should first prevent him from having contact with other dogs while you are working on behavioral modification. You’ll need to teach him to relax and behave appropriately around other dogs and reward him when he does so. This needs to be done gradually and under controlled circumstances, so I think your best option is to seek the guidance of a veterinary behaviorist who can guide you through the process.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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