How to treat an old dog's dry eyes
I have a lot of dogs these days thanks to an unplanned litter being added to an already big family. 2 of those dogs are older. Copey, the gray one, is 15 years old which is elderly in dog years. Rusty is only 10 which only puts him in his 70's in dog years. They are both shitzu. I have found that this breed is prone to skin and eye allergies. Now in their golden years they have slowed or stopped their production of tears which makes their eye allergies worse and makes them prone to discomfort and infection. Once an infection is present, a vet visit is required but it does not have to get to that point.
It is easy to tell if you dog has an eye allergy. The 'eye boogers' are a dead give away. Every dog has some but dogs with eye allergies will have a lot more build up. Cleanings will have to be done more regularly on these dogs to prevent the goop from hardening in the hair around the eye. When dry eye enters the equation, you will notice the hardening happen no matter how often you clean it.
When faced with this you have choices. Most of them are costly but there is a cheap and natural alternative for you. With a dog collection as large as mine is, cost has to be carefully monitored. Most things that are more cost effective involve some leg work. I have to say that this home remedy for dry eyes is not too complicated. Anyone can do this and there are many human uses for this method as well. The simple solution is homemade Saline Solution.
By making saline solution you are now able to replace the tears that the eye is no longer able to make. In addition to that, you are able to flush out a lot of the allergy gunk the dog is presently suffering with thus preventing infection and avoiding vet and medicine costs. Yippee!
The recipe is easy. I just wrote a blog about it. I would love for you to visit it for more details on prepping and storing your saline solution. I will summarize the recipe here for you so that you know how simple it is. It is 1 cup distilled water and 1 teaspoon of salt.
So, why make saline solution when it is available for purchase? The obvious answer is cost of coarse. You can make a lifetime of solution for the same amount you would spend on a couple of bottles. Another reason is that the solution available for purchase often has extra ingredients that you don't need. People use saline solution for nasal rinses, eye rinses, contacts, and more. Having some around the house is a good idea even if you don't have an old dog you love...