Megan’s Excessive Tears

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Megan the super friendly Lab came to Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Farrer) to check on her excessive tearing.

Epiphora is an abnormal overflow of tears from the eyes. It is usually caused by:

  • obstruction of tear drainage system.
  • overproduction of tears, often due to irritation or inflammation of the eye.
How are tears drained from the eyeS?
  • Two small openings called punctae are present at the inner corners of each eye.
  • Tears flow down these drainage holes into the lacrimal sac.
  • From this sac, a small tube called the  nasolacrimal duct carries the tears into the nose.
  • The tears then drain to the outside through the nose.

If the tear ducts are blocked (like a blocked plumbing system), tears in the eye back up and overflow down the face, usually from the inner corner of the eye.

Tears are drained through the nasolacrimal duct (tear duct) into the nose. The tears also help to keep the nose moist. Reference: http://www.merckvetmanual.com

 HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOG’S TEAR DUCTS ARE BLOCKED?
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A piece of blotting paper containing fluorescent dye is applied to the surface of Megan’s eye.

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A fluorescein eye stain can also reveal any corneal ulcers or lacerations.

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The dye will be left in Megan’s eyes for about 5 minutes before Dr Heng Yee Ling assesses if the tears are flowing normally through the tear ducts.

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After 5 minutes, the dye applied to Megan’s eyes has flowed through her tear ducts and can be clearly seen in her nose. Her tear drainage system is functioning properly.

A thorough examination shows that Megan’s eyes are looking good. The excessive tears could be due to a temporary irritation. For senior dogs like Megan, it is advisable to see the vet twice a year for a general health check.

what can be done for a blocked tear duct?

If your dog does have a blocked tear duct, the vet can perform a nasolacrimal flush. Eye drops may be prescribed. If the problem persists, a nasolacrimal catheter (small plastic tube) can be passed through the tear duct into the nose under general anaesthesia.

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Megan is well and healthy. most importantly, happy! It is her birthday tomorrow. So from all of us AT MOUNT PLEASANT, HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY BEAUTIFUL MEGAN! 🙂