Nasolacrimal duct surgery dogs

Nasolacrimal duct surgery in dogs is a vital component of veterinary ophthalmology, addressing conditions that obstruct tear drainage and lead to ocular discomfort and potential complications. This article explores the role of nasolacrimal duct surgery in dogs, covering its purpose, common procedures, recovery, and the impact it has on canine eye health.

Table of Contents

Understanding Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction in Dogs

Importance of Tear Drainage

The nasolacrimal duct plays a crucial role in draining tears from the eyes into the nasal cavity, maintaining ocular lubrication and hygiene. Obstruction or dysfunction of the nasolacrimal duct can lead to excessive tearing (epiphora), ocular discharge, irritation, and potential secondary infections.

Causes of Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction

Nasolacrimal duct obstruction in dogs can arise from various factors, including congenital abnormalities, acquired obstructions (such as inflammation, trauma, or neoplasia), or anatomical anomalies.

Surgical Intervention for Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction

Purpose of Surgery

The primary goal of nasolacrimal duct surgery in dogs is to restore tear drainage by removing or bypassing the obstructed segment of the nasolacrimal system. Surgical intervention aims to alleviate epiphora, reduce ocular irritation, and prevent secondary complications.

Common Procedures

Several surgical procedures may be employed to address nasolacrimal duct obstruction in dogs, including:

  • Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR): Creation of a new tear drainage pathway by surgically connecting the lacrimal sac to the nasal cavity, bypassing the obstructed nasolacrimal duct.
  • Nasolacrimal Stent Placement: Insertion of a stent or tube into the nasolacrimal duct to maintain patency and facilitate tear drainage.
  • Nasolacrimal Flushing: Flushing the nasolacrimal system with saline solution or medicated irrigants to remove debris, mucous plugs, or inflammatory exudates causing obstruction.

Preoperative Evaluation

Before undergoing nasolacrimal duct surgery, dogs typically undergo a comprehensive ophthalmic examination, including tear film assessment, fluorescein dye testing, and imaging studies to identify the site and extent of ductal obstruction.

Recovery and Postoperative Care


Following nasolacrimal duct surgery, dogs may require medications to control pain, inflammation, and prevent infection. Topical or systemic antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and analgesics are commonly prescribed to promote healing and comfort.

Ocular Protection

To minimize postoperative complications and promote healing, dogs may need to wear an Elizabethan collar or receive instructions to avoid activities that could traumatize the surgical site during the recovery period.

Follow-up Examinations

Regular follow-up examinations with a veterinary ophthalmologist are essential to monitor postoperative healing, assess tear drainage function, and detect any signs of recurrence or complications.


Nasolacrimal duct surgery plays a vital role in managing tear drainage abnormalities in dogs, offering relief from ocular discomfort and preventing secondary complications. By understanding the purpose, common procedures, recovery, and postoperative care associated with nasolacrimal duct surgery, dog owners can make informed decisions about their pet’s ocular health and ensure the best possible outcome. With advancements in veterinary ophthalmology and skilled surgical expertise, dogs affected by nasolacrimal duct obstruction can receive comprehensive care and enjoy improved ocular comfort and function.

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