- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Dry Eye Need Help

February 9th, 2011, 05:55 AM
Ok so I have a 15 year old shih tzu he has dry eyes and I have to put drops in every morning. Any suggestions on how to do it with a dog that hates to be picked up and hates to have drops put in. I have anxiety attacks every morning before I wake up knowing whats ahead of me. I have to chase after him until I can catch him and pick him up and the whole time he is wiggling trying to get away. Stick him in the sink and he is trying to jump out. I struggle for 10 minutes and finally get the drops into his eyes. THe whole time Im shaking and so is he. I have a real bad shoulder now because of it and its always in pain now. Im so overwhelmed. I know it sounds ridiculous but I have lost 15 pounds since the summer dealing with this. Any suggestions on a easier way to get the drops in. Thanks

February 9th, 2011, 10:03 AM
Try fighting with a 110lb Malamute :D :laughing:
Sorry, I have no advice on an easier way. Mine was diagnosed with "Dry Eye" about a week ago. Fortunately I have my hubby who can hold him while I put the ointment in!

If you find an easier way, please le me know!

February 9th, 2011, 12:16 PM
Well, at 15 he is allowed to be a bit ornery...
That being said, I think that the most important is that you have to be as calm and determined as you can be. He is certainly sensing your stress and that stresses him even more - it's a vicious circle, unfortunately.
Easier said than done, I know :(

Perhaps try and wrap him in a towel or blanket... and avoid the chase, if you can - that's escalating stress for both of you.
Reward him with the most valuable treat you know, AFTER you put the drops in

February 9th, 2011, 12:44 PM
I wouldn't chase him first of all. If you need to, keep a leash on him so you can just calmly walk up to him and step on the leash. I would use lots of treats, either to call him over and treat, or just walk up to him and treat, then walk away, repeat in a few minutes. 99% of the time you walk up to him, he should just get treats and attention, so he doesn't anticipate any thing bad and actually looks forward to you approaching.

Why are you putting him in a sink? Can you not hold on to him? Like some one suggested, try wrapping him up in a towel. But again, I would prefer to work on completely avoiding having to have a fight over this. Make it a habit to walk up to him and pick him up, then hold him, all while giving treats and then releasing. Again, 99% of the time nothing happens so that he gets to enjoy being approached, picked up, and being held. You can gradually add holding the eye drops, but just hold them, don't use them. You want to gradually desensitize him from this.

Does he become aggressive at all or just very squirmy? Can you do the eye drops at a different time of the day when he is more tired and less likely to fight you more? Maybe late at night when he's sleepy?

And regarding just giving him a treat after the fact without doing any desensitizing work, as far as he's concerned he's getting a cookie for putting up a good fight. It won't do any thing to help alleviate the stress prior to getting the drops, and may even add more anxiety as he wants to just snatch the cookie and run away after the ordeal.

February 9th, 2011, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I might try doing it at night when he is more tired. He does not like to be touched anymore. You cant even pat him and he freaks out. I think because he has limited eye site due to old age and dry eye. The last few years this has happened. So the only way to pick him up is to sneak up behind him unfortunately. I can't hold him and put them in at the same time so I have to put him in the sink to do this. Mindy

February 9th, 2011, 02:05 PM
Is it just that he gets startled when you first try to pick him up or has he in general began to completely dislike being held? That seems a bit strange to me, especially if he didn't mind being picked up while he was younger. Is it possible he is in pain or discomfort? Perhaps the way you pick him up or hold him is uncomfortable to him?Have you talked to the vet about this?

February 9th, 2011, 02:39 PM
He doesnt mind being held. When you pick him up he gets starled like I said I think it is due to not seing well. Once I hold him he is fine and he will actually let me pat him when being held. You just cant pat him when he is on the ground. He was never really a lap dog. He never sat with you or wanted to be held. He just likes to be sitting by your feet and he is content.

February 10th, 2011, 01:18 AM
Are the eye drops cold? Tyra has to have eye drops every day and I stick the bottle in my bra and get it to my temp and she does not fuss. But, put cold drops in there and she runs.

February 10th, 2011, 08:19 AM
He doesnt mind being held. When you pick him up he gets starled like I said I think it is due to not seing well. Once I hold him he is fine and he will actually let me pat him when being held. You just cant pat him when he is on the ground. He was never really a lap dog. He never sat with you or wanted to be held. He just likes to be sitting by your feet and he is content.

Then, instead of bending down and "scooping him up" could you try to sit on the floor and call him to you, to avoid startling him?

February 10th, 2011, 09:36 AM
Oh and lots of treats are needed also. Let him think that with the drops come numnums. Maybe chicken weiners? or something he thinks is a high value treat.

February 10th, 2011, 07:50 PM
It sounds to me that you are right about his startle reaction that it is from his poor eyesight. I think you need to try to calm yourself before even thinking about putting the drops in. He will pick up on your anxiety and get more anxious. So you need to relax and make this a treatment that you know he needs to help his eyes. Who knows the drops may improve his eyesight after you've been using them awhile. Knowing they will help him should encourage you to want to find a way to make it easy for both of you.

Wrapping him in a towel may scare him, I think you need to experiment with the best way to get the drops in. Treats will definitely be a positive addition to your successfully getting the drops in. I also agree with Shaykeija you need to warm the drops so they aren't cold when you insert them. Try warming them and testing their temperature like you would a babies formula. Run them under a hot tap and check the temperature on the inside of your wrist. When they are warm enough they should feel slightly warmer than your skin temperature because his normal body temperature is higher than yours and you should be taking time to settle him before you put the drops in.

I suggest you sit somewhere where you are comfortable, maybe on the floor beside him if that works for you. Pick him up and pat and hold him the way he likes then pick up the eye drops once you have him settled in a position you can put the drops in. Hold him so he can't squirm away and put the drops in. If you have to do one eye at a time, then take a break between eyes. I think the trick will be to get him comfortable before you pick up the drops.

As others have said maybe you should start having time when you pick him up and give him a treat without giving him the drops. If it takes several days before you can start the drops then so be it. I think you said they are going to be part of your routine from now on so you have to find a way that is not stressful for both of you.

GOOD LUCK with your baby :angel: :goodvibes: :fingerscr I really hope you find a way :)