Schirmer Tear Test

Is your dog suffering from DRY EYE? – Take a closer look

The Schirmer Tear Test measures the rate of tear production. The test is performed with standardised sterile 5x35mm strips with a printed millimetre scale, and contains a blue dye to assist with reading the measurement.

Early detection is the key.
Failure to measure tear production in cases of conjunctivitis and corneal ulcerative disease may lead to under diagnosis of dry eye. Loss of sight, corneal perforation and, in severe cases, loss of the eye itself can ensue.

Breeds predisposed to dry eye and those with ocular signs consistent with dry eye should be regularly screened using the Schirmer Tear Test.

Which dogs should be tested?
Any breed, at any age can develop dry eye. However, it is not practical to test all dogs all of the time, so we recommend screening the three most likely groups:

1. Predisposed breeds: the most important group. The four most common breeds should ideally be tested annually (West Highland White Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel and Shih Tzu).
2. Suspicious ocular signs: recurrent conjunctivitis, muco-purulent discharge, frequent ulceration, neovascularisation, and hyperpigmentation.
3. Endocrine diseases: Dry eye has been associated with diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism and hyperadrenocorticism.