Ben the spaniel almost went blind when his tear ducts stopped working but, after an operation, there isn’t a dry eye in the house.
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had his sight saved after a vet ‘re-routed’ his saliva glands to keep his eyes moist – whenever he drools over food.
The dog, named Ben, had a rare condition which meant his tear ducts did not work properly and his eyes were constantly drying up.
The six-year-old pooch was taken to a veterinary clinic where surgeons operated to move one of his saliva glands to his eyelids.
The ingenious move means that whenever Ben now thinks about food or is about to eat, he ‘drools’ from his eyes.
Veterinary Vision carried out the procedure, known as a bilateral parotid duct transposition (PDT) on Ben at their clinic in Penrith, Cumbria.
Advanced practitioner in veterinary ophthalmology Chris Dixon told how the operation needed to be carried out as the condition was so severe.
He said: “Ben has been a fantastic patient and we are all pleased the operation has improved the quality of his life.
“He is obviously always thinking about food, because the saliva does not stop flowing.
The parotid gland helps to produce saliva which moistens our food when we eat.
surface of the eye.
“This complex microsurgical procedure requires a general anaesthetic to carefully stitch the duct opening to the inside of the lower eyelid.
“There are multiple blood vessels and nerves that need to be avoided during the surgery and the dissolvable stitch material used is as thin as hair.”
The PDT procedure is rarely used due to a range of effective drugs now being available to treat the condition.
But in severe cases such as Ben’s, surgical intervention can be the only option.
Mr Dixon added: “Dry eye can be a devastating disease and PDT surgery offers hope to those when management with medicine fails.”