How to Treat Your Dog’s Dry Eyes

About two and a half years ago I adopted a small blonde pekingese dog named Lenny. Lenny has a condition know as dry eye. This means that his eyes don’t “make tears”. So the vet showed me how to put natural tear eye drops, the same as people use, into the dog’s eyes. (Oops that should be eye. Lenny had to have one eye removed two days before he came to live with me. The reason for this is very simple- abuse.)

Now it’s 9:00p.m., time for me to put drops in his eye for the first time. I held the little dog tightly against my chest and carefully poised the bottle above his eye and squeezed a single drop carefully into the fur on his ear! After several attempts some of the drops made it into his eye. The next morning was just as bad.

Eventually I had an idea. When I put drops in my own eyes I put them in the corner. I don’t hold the bottle directly over my eye. Lenny was squirming and unhappy because twice a day a stranger tried to poke him in the eye with a drippy foreign object. That’s enough to scare anyone!

Now I had a plan. At 9:00p.m. I did not clamp the little dog against me and stick a bottle over his eye. Instead I gently laid him on the floor. While I petted and talked to him, I held the bottle at the corner of his eye. Two drops later most of the liquid was in Lenny’s eye. I was thrilled. Lenny still didn’t want the drops, but after only two or three times of this new procedure he no longer resisted, as much.

As time went by liquid drops alone were not enough. Now Lenny also uses Optimune, which looks a lot like Vaseline. He no longer has to lay on the floor or be held in viselike grip in order to get his daily drops. Now he sits beside me with his head in the crook of my arm and waits impatiently for his medicine.

I’ve also learned that a dog bone makes medicine much, much, better. Mary Poppins really had something when she said “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

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