Dry Eye Curly Coat Syndrome

What is Dry eye curly coat syndrome in dogs?

Healthy dog eyeDry eye curly coat syndrome goes by a number of different names such as CKSID, ichthyosiform dermatosis and Congenital keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Essentially, the disease is characterised by a lack of tear production by the affected dog resulting in a lack of much tear film over the surface of the eye as well as the lining of the eyelids. Dry eye curly coat syndrome has a number of different causes from other illnesses to trauma but also has forms that are a result of inheriting faulty genes. Aside from the lack of tear production leading to eye damage, dogs with mutated forms of the gene fail to make other proteins leading to problems with their feet and teeth. As the name suggests, the coat of affected dogs will often be frizzy, sparse or “curly”.

Genetics of Dry eye curly coat syndrome in dogs

The affected gene responsible for the inherited form of Dry eye curly coat syndrome in dogs is the FAM83H gene. This condition is inherited in a autosomal recessive fashion so both parents of an affected dog have to be carrying at least one copy each of the mutated form of the gene responsible for the condition.

What is the severity of Dry eye curly coat syndrome in dogs?

Dry eye curly coat syndrome is considered to be of low to medium severity in dogs when compared to other diseases as it is able to be managed in all but severely affected dogs and will not shorted the lifespan of affected dogs. It does cause discomfort in most dogs affected and can be painful to severely affected dogs that have feet sore enough to make walking painful.

What are the symptoms of Dry eye curly coat syndrome in dogs?

Symptoms of this condition are normally apparent quite early in the young puppy’s life from about 2-8 weeks of age. Dry eye curly coat syndrome as the name suggests results in the eyes of affected dogs becoming very dry. Other symptoms of the inherited form of this condition include excessive blinking, a yellow-green mucous-like discharge around their eyes, eye irritation, corneal damage including pigmentation and ulcers. In some dogs, the foot pads can become thickened and the skin can slough, making walking difficult and painful.

Diagnosis of Dry eye curly coat syndrome

Diagnosis of dogs affected by Dry eye curly coat syndrome can be made in a numbers including a Schirmer tear test which measures the amount of tears produced by a dog over a time period. Usually a veterinarian will conduct a thorough ophthalmological exam on the affected dog in conjunction with the Schirmer tear test. DNA Disease Screening will determine if the condition has an inherited component in the individual affected dog.

Treatment of dogs with Dry eye curly coat syndrome

Artificial TearsTreatment of Dry eye curly coat syndrome mainly involves the replacement of tears not being made by the affected dog. This is usually started by replacing the tears with synthetic tears drops or solutions containing compounds such as Ciclosporin, carboxymethyl cellulose or methylcellulose. Drugs to treat infection and inflammation are also used. Surgery to redirect saliva to form tears can be performed in extreme cases that do not respond to drug therapy.


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