Summer drought and heat increases danger of dog dry eye warns fresh water advocate
Watch for dry eye symptoms and make sure pets drinks enough water says Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water radio host
Hear the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water on World Talk Radio, Voice America, Green Talk Network and Apple iTunesp
Pets are exposed to the same environmental conditions as humans but because they are closer to the ground and explore with their noses, they are far more prone to eye (and nose) injuries and diseases, including pet and dog dry eye. As a responsible pet "parent," according to fresh water advocate and radio host Sharon Kleyne, monitoring a dog or cat's eye health is critical. This is especially true during hot, dry summer months when pets are more active, there is more dust, insects, etc., and pets are more likely to be dehydrated.
Kleyne will discuss dog and pet dry eye and the summer 2015 drought on her Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® radio broadcast of August 17, 2015. For the live show or a podcast, go to www.SharonKleyneHour.com.
The syndicated broadcast, hosted by Kleyne, is heard weekly on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes. The education oriented show is sponsored by Bio-Logic Aqua® Research, founded by Kleyne and specializing in fresh water, the atmosphere, accelerated body surface evaporation and dehydration. Nature's Tears® EyeMist® is the Research Center's signature product for dry eye, both in humans and in pets.
Dogs and cats are subject to numerous eye diseases. The list includes not only dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) but blepharitis, eye injuries, cataracts, conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, eyelid masses and glaucoma ("Common eye diseases," Animal Eye Care, 2015 http://animaleyecare.com/common-eye-diseases/ ).
Nearly all pet eye diseases, Kleyne notes, are either the result of dry eye or have dry eye as a side effect. Pet dry eye symptoms occur when the protective basal tear film that covers the eye, which should be 99 percent water, loses water content. Pet dry eye can also result from poor diet, too little water intake and medication. Treatment of other pet eye diseases is far more effective if the cat or dog is simultaneously treated for dry eye. Untreated chronic dry eye can lead to visual impairment and blindness.
Dry eye is almost unrecognized among pet care practitioners, says Kleyne, despite the fact that the incidence of dry eye may be even greater among dogs and cats than among humans (Among humans, dry eye symptoms are the #1 eye doctor complaint). Because of the "third eyelid" membrane, a normal dog or cat eye is slightly better protected and better moisturized than a human eye. However, pets are exposed to more high risk situations for injuries and infections.
Pet dry eye symptoms may include, says Kleyne, (1) redness of the white part of the eye, (2) eyelid inflammation, (3) frequent eye infections and crusting, (4) lack of "shine" in the eyes or a thickening or unevenness of the tear film's usually invisible lipid (oil) component, (5) frequent squinting, blinking or pawing at the eyes, (6) unusual dryness of the fur and/or mouth.
Environmental dry eye risk factors, Kleyne notes, include; (1) an extremely dry or desert climate, (2) exposure to wind, cold and solar radiation, (3) frequent exposure to dirt (common among dogs), dust, smoke or chemical fumes, (4) prolonged exposure to climate controlled indoor environments such as forced-air heating and cooling and insulated walls and windows.
High risk dog breeds, says Kleyne, include bulldogs, cocker spaniels, lhasa apsos and west highland white terriers.
Kleyne's suggestions to minimize dry eye risk: (1) Inspect pet's eyes regularly. (2) See a veterinarian if pets show any eye disease symptoms. (3) For indoor pets, make sure the home is well-humidified. Open windows, set out house plants or bowls of water, or purchase a humidifier. (4) Make sure pets are well nourished and drink enough water. (5) When dry eye symptom or risk factors are present, apply Nature's Tears® EyeMist® from Kleyne's Bio-Logic Aqua Research several times a day to supplement natural tear film water.
It isn't always easy getting pets to drink, according to Kleyne. Do not assume that they will instinctively drink the exact right amount. Pets should drink one cup of water per day for every 10 pounds of weight.
Kleyne's watering suggestions: Follow the recommended diet for your pet's breed, age, weight, health and lifestyle. Change the water bowl frequently or purchase a pet watering device. Water sitting in a bowl all day can become contaminated and lose oxygen and taste. Don't let pets drink from puddles or lakes. Add water to your pet's food. Offer them water occasionally - especially after strenuous activities. Like humans, pets require more water if they are ill. © 2015 Bio-Logic Aqua Research All Rights Reserved.