Welcome to Lab Blog!

I started Lab Blog to share my experiences and help other dog lovers with their beloved furry companions. Some articles will deal with specific medical conditions and treatments. Others will just recount the many joys and sorrows of living, loving and losing our best friends.

PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT a veterinarian, nor am I trying to play one on the Internet!

My intent is simply to offer the knowledge and insight I have gained in nearly 35 years of owning, training, breeding and loving my own dogs. I hope you find it amusing, informative and useful.

Thanks for visiting!

Lab Mama

UPDATE: Severe, Chronic Dry Eye

It has now been 6 months since I first wrote about Jessie's severe, chronic dry eye. Her progress is steady and pronounced. Visual acuity has improved substantially, although she is still visually impaired and likely always will be. The greatest improvement has been in her quality of life; she plays with the young dogs, eagerly begs for daily walks and shows us in a hundred little ways every day how much happier she is.


Jessie is now almost 12 years old and has suffered from severe, chronic dry eye since approximately age 2. We tried many treatments over the years until finally finding a new vet with experience in treating dogs like Jessie. His medical treatment, combined with my use of human, over-the-counter dry eye products and fish oil supplements has lead to a slow but steady improvement in Jessie's condition.


Jessie was diagnosed with arthritis of the spine 3 months ago and has been taking 5 mg of Prednisone three times per week for relief. The constant level of steroid in her system has also been a benefit to her eyes, so we have stopped using the implanted steroid 'blebs'. She continues to take 4000 mg of fish oil per day, divided into two doses. Her eyes have progressed so well that they now require just two cleaning/lubricating sessions on most days. I still flush any debris and accumulated mucus from her eyes with the Eyes So Bright eye wash, and follow it with two drops per eye of the Neo/Poly/Dex drops (combination steroid and antibiotic). I apply the GenTeal Severe Dry Eye lubricant in the morning and the GenTeal PM Severe Dry Eye ointment at night.


I can't stress enough the importance of each step in Jessie's treatment protocol. As you will see from the updated photos to follow, her eyes, though still far from 'normal' are much improved, as is her coat. The systemic lubrication of daily fish oil has done wonders for her fur, pads, nose and eyes. I purchase ordinary, human supplement fish oil from the local drug store, but caution is advised when selecting a fish oil product. Some contain 'filler' ingredients that have no benefit whatsoever and may even inhibit the effectiveness of the fish oil. READ LABELS. Purchase only capsules of pure fish oils without additives!

I still highly recommend Eyes So Bright for all dog owners. This product should be in your canine first aid kit. It not only flushes foreign matter from the eyes but contains soothing ingredients for improved eye comfort as well. The GenTeal product line has been a true life-saver for Jessie and we will continue to use several of their products in her treatment.


Close-up of Jessie's Left Eye. The photo on the left was taken in November of 2008; the photo on the right was originally posted in May 2008. Note how much more of the eye is now exposed, and the small patch of brown iris visible in the lower right corner. Inflammation and size of blood vessels on third eyelid is dramatically reduced, as is the cloudiness of the pupil.

Jessie's right eye: November 2008 in left photo, May 2008 on the right. The clarity of the pupil is vastly improved, and the brown iris is clear and distinct in the left corner of the eye.

Again, the left photo is current as of late November 2008. The right photo was first posted in May. Note the improvement in richness, depth and evenness of color. Also note the obvious weight loss; Jessie feels like playing again and has lost five pounds!

Additional Information

Pet Education: Drs. Foster & Smith

Pet Diseases: Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (Dry Eye)

Novartis (GenTeal Products)

Ark Naturals (Eyes So Bright)

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