Breeds affected by Dry Eye

Dry Eye is very common - 1 in every 22 dogs are affected by this disease. However, in certain breeds, this figure is almost doubled. It is important to be aware that the eyes of some dogs affected by Dry Eye look quite normal, despite severely reduced tear production and destruction of the tear glands. The sooner Dry Eye is diagnosed and the correct treatment started, the better the long term outlook for the dog's eyes. Dry Eye is also painful (a bit like having grit in your eyes) so prompt treatment will also improve the welfare of the dog.

Predisposed Breeds

All breeds of dogs can develop Dry Eye at any age, but some are more prone to the condition. Breeds of dog particularly susceptible to Dry Eye include:

  • English Cocker spaniel
  • West Highland White terrier
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel
  • Shih-Tzu

Other breeds include the Yorkshire terrier, Bulldog, Pekingese, Pug and Lhasa Apso.

Veterinary specialists in ophthalmology recommend testing susceptible breeds regularly and many owners elect to have their dog tested during a routine appointment, such as for vaccination. This ensures that Dry Eye is picked up early and treatment started before too much tear gland tissue is destroyed.