Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Epiphora

Contributor(s): Paul Gerding, David L Williams

Introduction

  • Overflow of tears from the eye.
  • A common problem.
  • Cause: increased lacrimation and/or impaired tear drainage.
    Any animal presenting with epiphora should be carefully examined for evidence of ocular inflammation or pain.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Congenital conditions
  • Absence/aplasia of the lower punctal opening is the most common congenital disorder in dogs.
  • Micropunctum will also result in epiphora.
  • Nasal lower eyelid entropion Entropion.

Specific

  • Breed.

Pathophysiology



Excessive tear production
  • Results from a painful or irritant stimulus.
Impaired tear drainage
  • Congenital problems include absence of the lower punctal opening and micropunctum Micropunctum.
  • Breeds such as the Poodle (Miniature Poodle: miniature , Standard Poodle: Standard and Toy Poodle: Toy ), Shih Tzu Shih Tzu and Pekingese Pekingese may present with epiphora in the presence of a normal nasolacrimal system.
  • Acquired obstructions of the drainage system may result from symblepharon Symblepharon , foreign bodies and space occupying lesions.
Breed-related epiphora
  • The combination of tight lower eyelids, prominent globes with a shallow medial canthal lake and the wicking action of hairs at the medial canthus leads to epiphora although the nasolacrimal system is patent.
Acquired conditions
  • Symblepharon may follow severe conjunctivitis Conjunctivitis.
  • The presence of foreign bodies in the nasolacrimal duct may cause dacryocystitis Dacryocystitis.
  • Neoplasia Eyelid: neoplasia.
  • Epiphora can occur from a physiological not an anatomical nasolacrimal blockage in some breeds, eg Poodle, Shih Tzu.

Timecourse

  • Dependent on etiology - congenital predisposition may show symptoms from time of birth.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Grahn B H & Mason R A (1995) Epiphora associated with dacryops in a dog. JAAHA 31 (1), 15-9 PubMed.
  • Gerding P A (1991) Epiphora associated with canaliculops in a dog. JAAHA 27 (4), 424-26 VetMedResource.
  • Peiffer R L, Gwinn R M & Folatt K N (1978) Correction of inferior medial entropion as a cause of epiphora. Can Pract 5 (2), 27-31 VetMedResource.


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