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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24397
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog is a 7 pound, 6 year old, black male poodle. We are

Customer Question

My dog is a 7 pound, 6 year old, black male poodle. We are always struggling ( not very successfully) to keep the area by his eyes where his tears crust clean.
His left eye is pink, slightly closed, crusty and tearing a bit. He does not seem very troubled behaviorally.
I know that the answer will be drops and/or pills. Can you help me figure it out?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

There may be ophthalmic drops involved in Biggie's therapy but I first need to determine why he's tearing to the extent that he is. Lid abnormalities - eyelids folding in and irritating his cornea (entropion) or folding out accumulating debris behind them (ectropion) as well as misplaced and/or redundant eyelashes that are irritating his cornea (trichiasis, distichiasis, respectively) need to be considered. Various conjunctivitises - allergic, infectious, follicular/immune-mediated - need to be investigated. His lacrimal system needs to be checked; for example, are his tear ducts present, atretic (missing/compromised by abnormal anatomy), or obstructed by exudate and/or is there a dacryocystitis (infection of the lacrimal apparatus) present? Does he have a problem forming tears (keratoconjunctivitis sicca/dry eye) and, instead is forced to form too much mucus in order to compensate for the lack of tears?

Much of the examination and testing can be done by his vet; however, if his vet is uncomfortable examining your poodle's eyes to the extent needed, he may be referred to a specialist veterinary ophthalmologist as can be found here: www.acvo.org

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.