Throughout her life, she seldom left her home and visitors were few.
Research studies have shown that cavaliers are more pre-disposed to KCS -- at a relative risk of What It Is Dry eye is an inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva due to an inability to produce watery tears. It also is referred to as tear film deficiency and aqueous tear deficiency.
It cannot be cured in cavaliers. It is believed to be immune-mediated. Dry eye prevents the cavalier's eyes from being properly moistened, resulting in chronically dry, burning eyes, and scarring and painful ulceration of the cornea which may lead to decreased vision.
The disorder requires frequent medication every day. A rarer but far more severe form of dry eye syndrome in some cavalier King Charles spaniel puppies is a combination of dry eye and a congenital skin condition called "curly coat" or "rough coat" syndrome ichthyosis keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
See Curly Coat for details. All CKCSs should be examined at least annually by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist. Symptoms In the cavalier King Charles spaniel, the most common cause of dry eye syndrome is an immune-mediated destruction of the tear glands.
Initial symptoms include chronic redness of the eye, chronic thick, yellow-green discharge, especially in the morning, and the development of a film over the cornea. Diagnosis Tear production in the dog's eyes usually is tested by placing a small strip of treated paper beneath the lower eyelid. This is called the Schirmer tear test.
The Schirmer tear test STT measures tear production and reflex tear response and is used to diagnose dry eye, as well as other ophthalmic conditions. The STT package contains two sterile test strips, one for each eye.
See photo at right. Another tear measurement device is the ophthalmic surgical sponge, which is made of either cellulose or polyvinyl acetal PVA. However, the researchers advised that care should be taken to absorb sufficient volumes of tears with Schirmer strips to minimize the concentrating effect from the absorbent material.
In a September articleDrs.
David Williams and Heather Hewitt reported observing differing patterns of dried drops of tears from control dogs and those affected with dry eye. Patterns from the tears of normal dogs were "strikingly beautiful" ferning covering the entire face of the drops at left.
In dogs, including cavaliers, with progressively severe keratoconjunctivitis sicca KCSthe dried crystals were smaller and less fern-like at right. He concluded that the findings suggest that tear ferning could be a valuable technique for assessment of the tear film in dogs with KCS.
In a December articleDr. Williams reported on the success of using Rose Bengal stain in the eyes of dogs affected with dry eye. Of the 20 affected dogs in the study, 5 were cavalier King Charles spaniels.
He concluded that there was a reasonable association between dye staining of the ocular surface and tear production, although clearly other factors are also important in the genesis of ocular surface damage in dry eye.
Treatment is aimed at increasing tear production, applying artificial tears, and reducing any bacterial infections, and decreasing inflammation and scarring of the cornea. The dog's eyes must be kept clean and free of discharge. The patient may be treated initially with a topical antibiotic or anti-inflammatory.
In a study of 25 dogs, including a cavalier, researchers observed that "brachycephalic dogs with a background of chronic keratitis that are treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [including cyclosporine] are at risk to develop axial corneal SCC [squamous cell carcinoma].
The increase in annual cases of SCC suggests that this phenomenon is a developing problem. In a studyDr. Williams reports developing a gel which does not require as many doses per day as do the liquid medications.
The reduction of symptoms combined with the low dosing regimen indicates that this gel may lead to both improved patient health and owner compliance in applying the treatment. Williams' June article on this product, which has the brand name Remend by Bayer.
He states that it "seems to provide a particularly efficacious tear replacement in each canine KCS patient in which we have tried it".West Des Moines paperboy Johnny Gosch, 12, disappeared in the early morning hours on Sept.
5, , after setting out to deliver the Sunday paper.
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