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Immune-mediated keratoconjunctivitis sicca in dogs: current perspectives on management

Authors Dodi PL

Received 31 May 2015

Accepted for publication 7 September 2015

Published 30 October 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 341—347


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Young Lyoo

Pier Luigi Dodi

Department of Veterinary Medicine Sciences, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

Abstract: Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a frequent canine ophthalmic disease, resulting from the deficiency of one or more elements in the precorneal tear film. There are different known causes of KCS in dogs, including congenital, metabolic, infectious, drug induced, neurogenic, radiation, iatrogenic, idiopathic, and immune mediated, though the last one is the most prevalent form in dogs. Initially, clinical signs of KCS include blepharospasm caused by ocular pain, mucoid to mucopurulent ocular discharge, and conjunctival hyperemia; secondary bacterial infection may also occur, with chronicity, corneal epithelial hyperplasia, pigmentation, neovascularization, and corneal ulceration. The diagnosis of KCS is based on the presence of consistent clinical signs and measurement of decreased aqueous tear production using the Schirmer tear test. Therapy is based on administering the following topical drugs: ocular lubricant, mucolytics, antibiotics, corticosteroids, pilocarpine, and immunomodulators. These last drugs (eg, cyclosporine, pimecrolimus, and tacrolimus) have immunosuppressive activity and stimulate tear production. Furthermore, the nerve growth factor is a new subject matter of the research. Although these therapies are advantageous, stimulation of natural tear production seems to provide the highest recovery in clinical signs and prevention of vision loss. The goal of the following article is to describe the recent developments about KCS in dogs emphasizing the use of new therapies.

Keywords: dogs, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, treatment, NGF

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