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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got Layla about 6 days ago, she is a full blooded blue tri-colored deer head Chihuahua, I was told she had an ulcer but is now healed, so that isn't my problem, my problem is I was just told today that she was born without her left tear duct, and that I have to give her medication 2-3 times a day for the rest of her life, this can get very costly. What I would like to know is what is this called? In veterinary words. I was told all this by the person I got her from, not from the vet, I have a vet appointment in two weeks, but I want to look up everything I can about this, and can't find anything because I don't know the actual term for it. Also if anyone knows if there are any other ways to cure this, maybe even surgery, please let me know. She can't open her eye all the way and there is a cloud over her eye, she squints constantly, and most of the time wont even open it, it really looks bad and I hope to find a cure for this. Thank you all.
 

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Britly, to me it sounds like she has secondary keratocunjctivitus sicca (Dry Eye) due to congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction or dacryostenosis (common in some small breeds like yorkies) which is caused when the tear duct isn't fully developed. However, KCS can also be caused by many things including distemper, herpes virus, immune-mediated problems, sulfa-drugs that may have been given at a young age, etc... The cause can't be determined with veterinary diagnosis, and if it IS congenital, I'm surprised the breeder bred dogs with this defect.

What would be more common, would be an eye infection gone mad, and the breeder didn't want the responsibility of dealing with a medical issue. An untreated eye infection can look a lot like KCS, but can clear up quickly with quick, proper treatment. You have a lot better chance of saving the eye and figuring out the problem if you see a vet sooner.

You definately need the consultation of a veterinarian (preferably vet opthamologist) sooner than 2 weeks to figure out what to do. Your chi could lose it's vision during this time if the problem is serious, so it is better not to wait.

In terms of correcting the problem, there are surgeries that can be done to fix the problem, one common one is a parotid duct relocation, where the surgeon takes a different gland for saliva, and relocates it to lubricate the eye. Works well when done correctly. Restoring vision in that eye if necessary can be done via superficial keratectomy.

For long term treatment, you will probably be combining lubrication via artificial tears with cyclosporin (to slow down immune mediated destruction of tear ducts) or pilocarpine to stimulate tear production. If surgery is out of the question, these treatments will have to continue for the duration of your dogs life. Cyclosporin isn't cheap, and neither is the surgery, so you've got a special dog on your hands, I'm glad that you are being responsible and taking care of it.

Please let us know how what the veterinarian decides to do, it also never hurts to ask for a specialty referral or get a second opinion.

Good luck, and we're here for you and your baby!

-Nate
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you sooo much, I will look this up more, now that I have something to go on. She has had this since birth as far as I know. I will call my vet and try to reschedule for earlier, hopefully she can do that. So there is a surgery that can cure this? That is great, I was thinking that maybe all that could be done is putting in the medication every day for the rest of her life, which I will do if she doesn't qualify for the surgery or if there are too many risks. Do you know how big of a surgery this is? Do alot of dogs die from this? Or is it pretty common, and an easy operation? Will she have to stay awhile where she has the surgery? And do you know how much the surgery usually costs? I have only had her for 6 days, and I already love her, she loves to sit on my lap and give me kisses, she is just a beauty!! And soo sweet. I just want to do what is best for her to get her better, I hope she doesn't go blind from this, that is a really scarry thought, I will get her in as soon as I can. I am going to post a few pics of her I don't know if they will allow me to post them large for you to see the eye well, but I will try and do what they let me do. Thank you again so very much, I really do appreciate it, if there is anything else you think could be a possiblility of her having please let me know. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is another pic
 

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your pup is extremely cute.

as with all surgeries, there are risks going under anesthesia, however, a good vet with good support staff will confidently operate and recover you pup.. your normal vet will probably prefer to refer you out for the surgery since while it is not difficult, it's a better idea to go to someone who does them on a routine basis. while this is a common problem in dogs, it isn't something commonly seen in chihuahuas. however, in terms of surgery, one dog is no different than another except for size. most dogs i have seen who have undergone the surgery have done very well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And in both these pics it actually looks better than what it normally does, she usually doesn't have it open at all, and you can't see her pupil or anything in that eye it is so clouded over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, you have no idea how much you are helping me, I am feeling really good about this, and that we can really take care of it, before I was upset, really upset, that she wouldn't have the chance to be completely healthy, I know, maybe it will somehow be something else, and maybe she can't get the surgery, but at least now its a possiblility. I will keep everyone informed on what the vet says and does. Thanks again.
 

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Britly,

I think it is wonderful you are going care for this poor little Chi. My poor guy has had asthma all his life (7 years). He need tables AM and PM. But as I just give them with his food, it becomes a non-issue.

Hope the problem is curable, if not, hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you, and I will. Even if it can't be cured, I have no problem giving her the medication 3 times a day, she is such a sweetie that she just lays there and lets me do it , with no hassles, so that is not a problem. It just makes me sad to see that eye so messed up. But thank you all, I will keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks luvmypuppet so is yours
 

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When my daughter was newborn and for quite a while after she had a similar problem to Layla. I dont know how similar humans and animals are..but my daughter had an undeveloped tear duct. She had to have drops for a few weeks but then the duct fully formed as she grew. If your dog has a similar condition things may not be as bad as you think. Layla is a beautiful darling and very lucky to have such a good mummy :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all, and Seren, wouldn't that be great!!!!! But I don't know either how similar humans and dogs are. That would be just perfect though, so thank you for letting me know and I will ask my vet. The more questions I have for her the better.
 
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