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A recent study found that brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds have a 3.63x greater risk of developing dry eye1.

What is dry eye?

Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS) is a condition whereby dogs have a reduced tear film (deficient aqueous layer) due to destruction of their tear (lacrimal) gland. Left untreated, the condition can result in, inflammation, corneal damage (ulceration, pigmentation) or even blindness.

Who is at risk?

  • Increased incidence of dry eye is seen in dogs of increasing age and body weight.
  • Certain breeds are at greater risk of developing dry eye. These include the; American cocker Spaniel, West Highland White Terrier, Pug, Lhasa Apso, English Bulldog, English Cocker Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

What can be done?

  • Careful breeding, particularly of flat-face (brachycephalic) dogs, to reduce facial conformation extremes
  • Checking tear production annually at routine vet check-ups (such as vaccinations) in at-risk breeds
  • Intervening promptly with medical therapies, ocular lubricants and ocular cleansing.



O’Neill, D.G., Brodbelt, D.C., Keddy, A., Church, D.B. and Sanchez, R.F. (2021), Keratoconjunctivitis sicca in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK: an epidemiological study. J Small Anim Pract.

Cases of Dry Eye by Breed
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