I am afraid I don't know enough about this surgery. I tried just now doing a little research on it online, but headed straight into extremely technical info. which I could just about half understand, and it was so complicated I couldn't write it all up for you!
It would be a good idea if you posted your question to Dr Aleda Cheng on the "Ask a Vet" Forum. You may not get an answer immedately, but do persevere, because you will get an answer.
Scroll down this page, and you will see a link through to that (on the right down this page)
You really do need to discuss this with the vet who (I presume) has recommended this surgery. Ask, and I'm sure your vet will explain all you will need to know.
I assume your dog has keratoconjunctivitis sicca? What treatments have you tried? What medications have you used thus far that have not worked?
The surgery itself isn't terribly risky, or at least no riskier than any other procedure where anesthesia is involved, but it's not a perfect solution either. It's possible for salt crystals from the saliva to form in the eye, causing serious irritation and more problems.
Because it's like a last ditch effort to lubricate the eyeball, parotid duct transposition is reserved only for cases where all other attempts at treatment have failed. I know I asked above, but what medications have you tried thus far that have failed?
Yes, for many months we have tried ALL the medication treatments available without success and surgery has been suggested. We are interested to hear first hand from dog owners who have had the Parotid Duct Transposition procedure for their pet, with their experience as to after surgery problems (if any), and the eye maintenance thereafter.
Also, the effect the surgery has on the pet's behavior, and any other information that may be helpful.
Have you tried Optimmune? It contains cyclosporine, but it is an ointment, and far superior to liquid drop formulations that also contain cyclosporine. I have seen animals that have loads of hyperpigmentation in the eye and almost total opacity become almost normal looking eyeballs after a couple of months of Optimmune use. If you did try it, how long did you use it for? The reason I ask is because it takes at LEAST 30 days to start to see any kind of improvement, and in severe cases, it may have to be administered at least twice a day until the eyes start to improve. After they start to improve, you can try administering it once a day for a week or so, and if the eyes are going to regress, you will see it in that short a time and can increase the administrations to twice a day again.
If you have tried cyclosporine drops (as opposed to Optimmune, which is an ointment), and have not had success with them, it could be because the drops use soap as a stabilizing agent, which has the unfortunate side effect of irritating the very eyes that the drops are supposed to be helping. The drops also do not stay with the eye more than a couple of minutes, whereas with the ointment, it's thick and it stays with the eye for hours, providing much better coverage and protection. The vets that I wworked for prescribed it regularly, and I was VERY impressed with the results. Optimmune succeeded where other cyclosporine formulations failed.
By the way, what breed of dog do you have?
My five year old Westie had the surgery last week. It's great to see the tears. The vet saw him yesterday and said he was progressing as expected. However, as of last night he seems to be regressing. When he eats and the tears start to flow he squeezes his eyes shut as if he were in pain. He keeps his eyes shut all day long. Even when he is outside he will not open them. Three days ago he was not doing this. I'm wondering if the ph of his tears is bothering him. There is a watery yellow discharge that develops along his eyelash line. It is not the same discharge that resulted from his dry eyes. I'm waiting to hear from the vet.
Spoke to the vet. One of the side effects of the surgery is mineral deposits in the eye. It's the yellowish discharge around his eyelashes. It is a result of the difference in ph. We will try putting him on a prescription diet such as a dental diet. My dog produces a lot of tarter. Perhaps they are related. In the meantime I will be constantly cleaning his eyes. I would not have done the surgery if it had not been for a serious ulcer he developed while we were out of town. He required surgery to repair the damage.
The dog definetly has dry eye. Surgery has been suggested as he has zero tears in left eye & 8 in right by Schirmer Tear Test. We are trying to find information such as yellobird 500 has given.
He is a pound dawg. Some have said he looks like a Catahoula. I believe he is a dalmation - terrier mix with blue eyes and 78 lbs of love!
Thank you for your response. Sorry to hear things are not working out right.
Hopefully the diet will help. I wonder if the surgery reversible if when my dog is done and want to go back?
her's my story. My 5 year old WEstie went in for a yearly checkup March 4th of this year. his tears were down to 5 in both eyes from a previous 7 to 11. He was put on Prednisone and Docicycine. We changed to the gel form of Genteal and Tacrolimus. The vet said he would drink more and he did. She recommended surgery for the first time. Casper has been her patient for 2+ years and she had never even suggested that there was a surgical solution. Within a week my dog was worse. I used saline soltion to clean his eyes. The next day he wouldn't pen his eyes. I put the solution in my own eye and discovered it wasn't fresh. I immediately called the vet and she said surgery would solve the problem. The next day I went to another eye specialist and Casper had an ulcer in the center of his eye. It healed with a minor scar right over his pupil. His tear production had elevated to 7. The scar healed within the week. Unfortunately, we were scheduled for a 4 day spring break vacation and I couldn't back out. Casper stayed with his usual dog sitter. When we picked him up he was squinting again. Now he had an ulcer that was so deep it required surgery to repair. His eye would be scared and some vision lost. I opted to do the parotid duct surgery at the same time. The worst side effect according to the vet was a slight mineral buildup due to difference in ph. It has been over a week since the surgery. The vet seems to consider the surgery a success because his eyes look good. The problem is that Casper won't open his eyes. He is in such discomfort that he spends all day with his eyes shut tight bumping into everythng. He responds to my rubbing his eyes which tells me they itch. I spend all day tending to his eyes, medicating them with drops to numb, heal,and lubricate his eyes. We've changed his meds several times. We are even trying to change the normal ph of his body with vitamin C pills. I returned t the vet yesterday and he says Casper just has to adjust. Then he charged me for the visit! Does anyone ever adust to itchy eyes? I dn't think so. I wonder if I had not been to the vet in March would I be in this situation today?
Please note, I asked at the vets office if this was a common surgery. I was told that as of a month ago it wasn't very common. But for some unusual reason they are doing one or two on a weekly basis. The surgery on both eyes was over $2600. That doesn't include several hundred dollars in meds. The vet charged me for yesterday's visit. I wonder if it is the newest way for them to make quick cash or if there has been a recent seminar or paper published that has made this surgery popular. In my opinion, there are too many unkowns afterwards. My vet is guessing at this point without any assurances. He seems satisfied with his work. The fact that my dog is a completely different dog ( miserable, sedantary, sad) seems irrelevant to him.
If anyone has any experiences with this surgery, please post them here. We need to help each other. I don't trust the vets to be truthful. I asked all the questions up front and searched the internet and it didn't help me. My dog turned out to be a guinea pig.
Found this on the net. Hope it helps.
We share your feelings about vets. That is why we are researching online before surgery.
Or if there is another way......
Thank you for the link.
I probably did not phrase my question well enough to attract others.
Blu's ophthalmic specialist has been doing a bunch lately he says. Six in the last three weeks.....$$$$$ Same price range as yours.