Last Modified on May 22, 2014
Dry Eye Syndrome - Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)
Are crusty, dry eyes tormenting your pet? Just like us, pets can sometimes experience dry eyes simply because they are dehydrated, have been in windy conditions, are sick, or perhaps as a side effect of medications. However, there is also a medical condition called Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or more simply dry eye syndrome that causes dry eyes in the absence of any other cause. Is your pet suffering dry eyes for any reason? Check out the natural dry eye remedies from Earth Clinic listed below!
Of course, dry eye in dogs and other pets could be the result of allergies - pets get them too! - and allergy medicine for dogs is available, though we suggest looking for alternative medicine options for pet allergies instead. In the case of KCS, a lack of tears, redness in the eyes, and excessive blinking is the result of an imbalance between the mucus and aqueous layers of the dog's tear ducts. As a consequence, the dog's eyes are moistened by a "tear" that is thicker and more mucous-like than the eye needs.
Home Remedies for Dry Eye in Dogs, Cats, and More
Artificial tear drops and ointments are available to supplement your pet's natural tears. However, home remedies can also help. In the case of KCS, saline drops are not advised but these can help other dogs with dry eye conditions. Improved nutrition and hydration may help your pet, and one natural cure you might try is cod liver oil applied directly to the eye or any sort of omega-3 supplement added to your pet's diet.
10/17/2010: Mamasunshine from Mission Viejo, Ca: "My shih tzu has had crust on his eyeballs for nearly 2 years. He doesn't produce tears to wash away his eye mucus and it sticks on his eyes. Now his eyes are turning white. Is there anything I can do to help him?"Replies
04/16/2011: Lisa from Vancouver, Wa replies: "My Shih Tzu has dry eye... He takes Tacrolimus in coconut oil twice a day... The Vet Opthomologist said it was caused by allergies (pollen, food), so he takes 1 AllerClear a day. He will have to take these meds for the rest of his life.
A basic vet gave him Optimune... but it wasn't strong enough.
U should consult a specialist right away... My dog went blind in 1 eye... It was difficult to see the process happening because he has dark brown eyes & dark fur.
Its taken a year but the brown covering the eye used to protect itself is slowly coming off. The specialist said there is a 75%-80% chance he will get his sight back in that eye.
Its amazing how God created the body to protect itself... I wish I knew a natural cure... But I guess somethings have to be cured by medicine."
05/21/2012: Susan from South Padre Island, Texas, Usa replies: "Lisa, from Vancouver. Does your Shih Tzu take the Tacrolimus with Coconut Oil by mouth or is it compounded into eye drops? Our Cavalier has dry eye and had a reaction to the Cyclosporine drops so we are looking for an alternative.
Thanks for your help. Susan"
09/26/2012: Lisa from Vancouver, Wa replies: "H He takes the drops in his eyes... the cheapest place to get them is "meds 4 vets" (compounding pharmacy online--they sell 2 vets, but also pet owners).
All u need is a perscription... His eye doc wouldn't do that 4 me... She was greedy (She wanted me 2 buy directly from her... She wanted 2 charge me $7 more than meds4vets & $7 USPS flat rate shipping box... [In an envelope it wouldn't have cost more than $3 (postage/cost of bubble wrap & envelope)... so I went 2 a regular vet 2 get the script.]
The small bottle usually lasts a few months... so I ask for a couple of refills on the script."
04/11/2010: Lissy from San Juan, Puerto Rico: "Hello,
I am new to this site and like reading home remedies for dogs. Recently my Shih-tzu was diagnosed with dry eye symptom on both eyes and ulcer in the right eye. She is 3 yrs old and the vet recommended an antibiotic cream, drops and a regular cream to treat her daily. I want to know if anyone has had this experience and can let me know if there is a natural home remedy that I can try instead of the expensive medications.
04/28/2010: Amanda from Toronto, Ontario replies: "Check out alternative oral supplement BIO TEARS to cyclosporine ointment-steroid.
It works well on people who scored 0 on shimmer test.
There used to be doggy version (Dog Tears Oral Gel Caps -- http://www.dog-health-care-information.com/dryeye
discontinued but it's the same stuff.
If it works you might not have to use tear drops at all.
Dog Tears Oral Gel Caps
BIO TEARS supplement-
great eye drops VIVA DROPS:
[YEA] 07/14/2010: Liz from Tampa, Fl replies: "My dogs had dry eyes until I started feeding the highest quality brand foods such as ______. Since I cannot list the name, I will tell you it is made in Canada, which has many high quality pet food companies. You get what you pay for and the pet food industry is not regulated well enough. The main thing to help dry eye (in my opinion) is to make sure they are getting Omega 3 oils. Supplement w/ salmon occasionally: I give mine canned salmon 1- 2 times a week (w/ other supp. , ingredients, etc. ). I've yet to see healthier looking English Bulldogs!"
[YEA] 01/08/2011: Ssr from Tally, Fl replies: "Cod liver oil can be used in a dog's eye to lubricate when they don't make their own tears. I have a shih tzu also and ulcers are common which can require eye removal. Don't ignore the dryness. It's uncomfortable and can exacerbate the situation. The best remedy is Optimmune which requires a vet prescription but not only lubricates but also increases natural tear production. If you are opposed to pharacuticals, try 2 drops of cod liver oil in each eye twice a day."
02/06/2011: Mapleleaf65 from Vancouver Bc, British Columbia Canada replies: "Whether its an animals eyes that are dry or a humans , I have found that the best thing you can use is pure honey-A drop or a bit , just gently smear it on the sides of his eyes inside. Honey is antiseptic and helps to cool the optic nerves as well as moisten the area and opens up the tear ducts as well , thus lubriucating the eyes. We use it all the time for babies and humans , yes it will sting for a second or two but it does the trick-"
03/20/2012: Unruhka from Pueblo, Co replies: "I tried raw honey for my dog. First, we mixed with water and gave it to her smeared on a cotton ball and put it in her eyes. Then, we got a dropper and bottle and did a drop a day in her eyes. That was just a few days ago, so it could be the cotton balls that caused the following: Under her eyes turned very black. The hair had stopped growing, I think, but they also looked a bit swollen. We stopped the honey entirely and her eyes, underneath, have really improved. We see no signs yet of irritation from the dry eye. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hoping the honey has taken care of the problem. I've heard of humans using it and it clears the ducts so they can produce natural tears again. I'm praying."
04/22/2012: Lidia from Dallas, Texas replies: "Vet ointment containing white petroleum and light mineral oil for dry eyes. My dog has yeast infections caused by food and mold allergies. She is now on holistics food, no grains. Plenty of organic raw vegetables, has improved tremendously. Her eyes were aways itchy and red, I kept the eye drops three times a day. Then I read an article about dry eyes, I ordered the ointment, three days later she had completed recovered. I wish I had known about the dry eyes then."
07/13/2012: Jackieh41 from Sacramento, Ca/usa replies: "My dogs went and stayed with family for a couple of months due to a temporary issue at my job. While there a major grassfire occurred, both houses on either side of the one where they were staying burned down. This was in the middle of the day, and dogs were outside, no humans were at home, and fire deprtment would not allow anyone in to retrieve the dogs. When my brother was allowed in both dogs were found hiding under a bush seemingly ok.
It is of note that the whole area, including the dogs was dusted via airdrop in this pink substance I would assume is flame reatrdant. It was another month after this before I saw my dogs again. My mother told me at that time that the beagle had been having allergy problems ( runny eyes ) and that she had given him benadryl several times. The first night upon seeing the beagle again I must have wiped off the gunk from around his eyes every couple of hours. I also noted that both of my bassett hounds eyes had a cloudy appearance to them. I was due to leave via car on a 1500 mile car trip the next morning, but decided to see a vet the next morning first. Vet said the beagle had dry eyes, advised liquid tears and to see a vet immediatly upon return home for a prescription for a compounded med called cyclosporin. He did several tests on the bassett hound, found no infection or emergency, and advised they see their regular vet asap when I arrive home for further testing. All along the 1500 mile trip each time I stopped I had to clean the beagles eyes, huge amounts of gunk.
Once home at their regular vet the beagle was again diagnosed with dry eye. Liquid tears and cyclasporins ordered. When I started the beagle on the cyclasporin, over a period of time his eyes became even redder, sclera swollen and red. I took him off the cyclasporin, this improved. When I told the vet, he looked at me as though he doubted that this had ctually even happened, made a funny face, and did not offer forth any alternative suggestions. I have spent close to 7000 dollars just on the begles vet bills alone over the past year, and have really gotten no where. I currently am doing my own thing with the beagle. I use natural tears after having irrigated them out with a preservative free saline soln I found. At night I put in a ointment I found made for humans tht seems to help a little.
Today his eyes still appear dry, and possibly he has at times had small ulcers that I have seemingle seen get better by increasing the amount of times I apply eye drops. However I think he is slowly losing his vision. My bassett hound continues to have the cloudy eyes, no changes, tested negative for cataracts or glaucoma. He seemingly has very little vision deficit, or he is accommdting very well. He is listless, just sleeps all the time, just does not seem to be the same dog at all since he came back. He also has chronic yeast problems which I battle with daily to keep under control, could thid be related somehow?
Both dogs are ten years old, puppy mill dogs, adopted by me at 6 months of age. Any suggestions very much appreciated. Thanks.... Jackie H"
07/24/2012: 5 Pooches Home from Houston, Tx replies: "Hello, Please try this for your dogs -
1. Dr. Christopher's Eyebright Formula - Mix 10-15 drops in dog food or give directly with the syringe.
2. Organic Bilberry extract - Give 15 drops each day to support the eye health.
3. Organic Ginkgo Biloba - Excellent for eye. Give around 10 drops each day to both.
4. At night, you can place 1-2 drops of Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil in the dogs eye. This will clear out the toxins from their eyes but also it will provide long term moisture. You MUST do this everyday while supporting the internal health.
5. In the morning, put 1 drop of Organic Cold Pressed, Unrefined Almond Oil in the eye.
6. Cook homemade food inclusive of healthy Vit A, E and bea-carotene rich veggies like organic carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, etc.
7. Homeopathic Silica - This is to detox your dogs since they obviously have chemicals in their bodies and toxins and silica helps the body get rid of all this. 4-5 tablets 4 times a day.
Do NOT vaccinate your dogs ever again or give them any other medicine.
09/26/2012: Lisa from Vancouver, Wa replies: "Great idea on the bio tears. I was looking 4 a cheaper solution 2 use during the day in between tacrolymus.
Plz b careful with fish!! Never feed raw 2 dogs... If U feed canned make sure U rinse it good b4 feeding... It has a lot of salt... Not 2 mension BPA (Unless U check w/ the company... Trader Joes only uses BPA (Bisphenol- A.... ) in acidic products like canned tomatoes.
I feed the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet... So give flax seed oil in their food.. for their EFAs."