Tear Duct Disorders in Dogs: Diagnosis and Treatment

What is It?

Tear ducts are responsible for lubricating the eye and flushing out debris that may enter. Anything that obstructs this function is considered a tear duct disorder.

What Causes It?

Tear duct obstruction can come from many sources. Infection, trauma, birth defect, inflammation, scar tissue from previous infection and distichiasis are all breeding ground for blockages.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • Tearstains
  • Wetness around the eye
  • Brown discharge
  • Redness in eye

Is it Life Threatening?

No.

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How is It Diagnosed?

A vet will perform an ocular exam on your dog and complete a medical history questionnaire. A fluorescein stain test will allow your doctor to ascertain the draining capabilities of the duct. In some cases imaging, such as x-ray, CT scan or MRI, may be needed to better understand the extent of the blockage.

What Are The Treatments?

The cause and severity of the block tear duct will dictate the treatment. For dogs who have deformed tear ducts, surgery may be the only option to fully remedy the condition.

Flushing the tear duct can also help alleviate the problem by removing obstructions and widening the duct. Conditions caused by infection will need antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to heal.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.