Epiphora in dogs: treatment and prevention

Since ancient times, tears were considered a sign of strong emotional excitement. But can they be signs of illness, and even in pets? Yes, if it's an epiphora in dogs.

What it is?

This is called constant, continuous lacrimation from the eyes of an animal. This is a symptom, not a specific disease, which can indicate a variety of diseases.. Typically, the secreted tears (more precisely, their excess) are removed through the nasal duct. From there, the fluid enters the nasal cavity, where it additionally irrigates and moisturizes the surface of the mucous membrane. Epiphora is usually associated with the fact that the "drainage system" for some reason does not function, and therefore excess tear fluid freely flows into the external environment. Most often it is due to blockage of the lacrimal ducts. However, there are cases when the ducts are in perfect order, but they simply can not cope with a sharply increased volume of tears. About the causes of lacrimation in the video below:

The most common clinical signs of epiphora are constantly moisturized and even moist skin around the eyes, the fur may acquire a reddish-brown tint. Due to the constant humidity, the skin is often seeded with pathogenic microflora, inflamed, and the release of foul-smelling exudate begins. In severe cases, the tears roll so violently that even the face of the animal is completely wet.


As we have already stressed, epiphora is not a disease, but only a symptom. Focusing on it, the veterinarian needs to determine the specific cause of constant lacrimation. Very often this is acute conjunctivitis (viral or bacterial), allergies, eye injuries, ectopia, corneal ulcers, eye infections, anatomical pathologies (eyelid inversion or ectropion) and glaucoma. All these pathologies are serious, and some threaten with the loss of not only vision, but also eyes. Therefore, it is urgent to identify the cause of what is happening.

If the presence of all of the aforementioned ailments was completely refuted (which is very good), you need to find out what condition the lacrimal ducts are in. When examining the eyes, they look for signs of inflammation, scarring, traces of parasites, that is, all the reasons because of which the lacrimal duct may be blocked. It is also necessary to consider some anatomical nuances. So, in brachycephalic breeds, pathologies of the lacrimal ducts often occur initially, and the percentage of such animals is considerable. Due to various defects in them, tears simply do not have time to get into the duct, pouring into the external environment almost directly.

In especially severe cases, the cornea and even the mucosa of the conjunctival cavity are not sufficiently moistened, which almost guarantees that over time this dog will definitely keratitis. But still, more often it is a foreign body that has entered the lumen of the lacrimal duct, which blocks the discharge of excess tear fluid.

The simplest diagnostic method is that a few drops of a special fluorescent solution (glowing in ultraviolet) are instilled into the eye. After that, the head of the animal is slightly tilted down and held in this position for a couple of minutes. If the drainage system is operating normally, then after this time, if shine in the nose with a UV lamp, you can see a clear glow of paint. In the case when nothing similar is observed, this is not a reason to diagnose the "obstruction of the lacrimal canal", but a good reason to conduct a very detailed examination of it.

Treatment and prevention

However, you can immediately insert a special tool into the lumen of the duct. Sometimes it happens that already in the prenatal period the puppy did not have a normal duct and, if this is true, a simple ophthalmic procedure will help to completely solve the problem. In other situations, you will have to resort to regular washing of the lacrimal duct with solutions of antiseptic agents. Thus, the treatment of epiphora in dogs depends on the cause under which the pathology arose. The general principles of therapeutic measures are as follows:

  • It does not hurt to add a small amount fresh or dry parsley as an animal food. This plant has a beneficial effect on the condition of the lacrimal ducts and has a mild bactericidal effect.
  • Low doses doxycycline, tylosin, tetracycline or metronidazole shown when the bacterial nature of the pathology is proven. These antibiotics and antimicrobials are almost never used in modern veterinary practice, but they are sometimes used for ophthalmic purposes.
  • The skin and hair around the eyes are regularly washed. water-soap solution with any veterinary antiseptic shampoo.
  • If pathology has arisen due to conjunctivitis, it is useful to lay in the eye tetracycline ophthalmic ointment (3%).

We do not recommend practicing treatment at home: tips for washing the eyes with hydrogen peroxide will not bring to good.

Watch the video: Tear Staining in Dogs: 5 Natural Answers (February 2020).