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Eye problem for my Shih Tzu
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Eye problem for my Shih Tzu

Hello,
My 12 year old Shih Tizu has Drainage (a gooey residue) covering his eyes every morning. we gently wipe it away with a wet tissue. It recurre though out the day a few times. His left ear seams to have a lot of stuff in it foul smelling & very sensitive.I sure would like to know what to do for my little buddy.
Thank you
Reed
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1868280_tn?1320169073
Your dog may have two things going on here. Ear mites are easy to get for
most dogs and cats. Take your doggie to the Vet and have his ears checked mites. They will clean out his ears and give you medicine to clear those out of there. Next the gooey residue is may be your dogs eye tear
duct or possible cold/infection, if it's more than usual. Many small dogs
have this running gooey thing, but if it's a lot, the Vet will be able to help you out there too. Being 12, it's good to get a check-up anyway, so you
can take care of all this with seeing your local Vet.
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1832268_tn?1326819610
Hi Reed...
I also feel that the two conditions are possibly separate....unless, they have both started occuring around the same time, in which case, both could be due to infection...So...
Get him to the vet for possible ear and eye infection...But, while you are there,have him tested for Dry Eye.  (my yorkie had dry eye..my vet said it is quite common in older dogs and smaller breeds seem more suseptible to it )
Mucus buildup / discharge from the eyes is the main symptom...also squinting of the eyes,  (especially outside from sun and wind )  
The test is very simple, painless,inexpensive...(paper strip), and takes about 60 seconds.  Dry Eye can be very painful and can lead to eye ulcers and blindness. The test will help determine the severity of the dry eye. If it is Dry Eye,  (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca )..you can help keep him comfortable by using an over the counter eye drop...approved for dry eye...( Systane or Genteal )...several times throughout the day,....and the vet will probably prescribe cyclosporine drops to help the eye produce more tears. Before you use the cyclosporine drops, be aware that they will sting your dogs eyes, and long term use may contribute to kidney disease...talk this over with your vet.  
Since your dog is 12 years old, please have annual bloodwork done on him to assess liver and kidney functions...bloodwork should be done on all senior dogs.  
Best Wishes for you and your dog.....
Connie
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441382_tn?1329196690
I think Twobitsmom has hit this on the head.  Shih Tzus are one of the breeds in which many individuals are affected with dry eye.  The thick, ropy mucus you are describing is the first thing that usually alerts owners to the problem.

The vet can do a Schirmer Tear Test, an easy, painless, inexpensive test that can tell him in about two minutes if this is what is affecting your dog.  If that's the problem, he will need to be on cyclosporine in the form of drops or ointment for the rest of his life, but the condition should respond nicely and he should be able to be comfortable and virtually free from the signs of the disease for the remainder of his days.

In brief, cyclosporine is the drug that is given to transplant patients to help prevent their bodies rejecting the transplanted organ.  It actually sets up its own immune system so that the body's immune system doesn't take over and reject the new organ.  Researchers found that in the case of keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye, cyclosporine would actually jump-start the lacrimal gland (tear gland) back into action so that the dog would once again be producing its own tears.  The ropy mucus that you see is the body's attempt to lubricate the eye in the absence of tears.  There are several different types of cyclosporine preparations that can be used.  Ask your vet about one caled Optimmune.  It's an ointment and can be used twice a day instead of the water drops which may have to be used more often.  Also, the mixtures have a fairly short shelf-life, and the water preparations, in an attempt to make them last longer, often have soap in them to act as a preservative.  The soap itself also can act as an irritant in the already very irritated eye, so when my cocker spaniel was being treated for dry eye we chose the optimmune because it didn't contain the soap.  At twelve years of age, there is not much chance that your dog will be on any preparation long enough for any other of the body's organs to be affected adversely, but do still keep an eye out for any odd behavior changes that might need veterinary intervention.   Your vet will (or should) discuss all of this with you when they prescribe the cyclosporine.

Please let us know how things turn out.

Ghilly
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