MSD Animal Health - maker of Optimmune (cyclosporine) is launching a new awareness campaign designed to help dog owners identify the signs of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), aka canine dry eye, before it becomes an issue.

According to the company, canine dry eye affects 1 out of 22 dogs and the early symptoms can be easily missed by pet owners, leading to irreversible damage to a dog’s vision, and eventually resulting in blindness. 

If you want to get behind the campaign, MSD will supply your practice with a educational video and a special pair of glasses which mimic the effect of dry eye on a dog, so you can better explain the condition to clients and encourage them to book a screening appointment / Schirmer tear test if their pet is at risk. 

Middle-aged to older dogs and certain breeds such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, West Highland White Terrier, Shih Tzu, Cocker Spaniel, Pekingese, Yorkshire Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Pug and Bulldog are more prone to KCS. Dogs with sore eyes and/or affected by conditions such as diabetes, Cushing’s Disease and hypothyroidism may also develop canine dry eye and MSD says they should be tested.

Caroline Darouj, product manager at MSD Animal Health, said: "Certain breeds of dog suffering from pre-existing conditions are at higher risk for canine dry eye and vets should screen regularly for canine dry eye."

“If left untreated, canine Dry Eye can lead to blindness. However, if caught in time, it can be well managed with medication.”

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