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The problem with those big puppy dog eyes - How Mark fixed Kobe's tear stains

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Kobe the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had a wet tearful face all the time so his owners brought him in to see Mark. Read on to know why and what we did to fix the problem!

Kobe is a 1-year old Cavalier who loves walks, toys, and cuddles. Recently his owners took Kobe in to see Mark for an eye exam because he had a constantly wet face, tearing staining, and a bad smell. Mark Ames is an RCVS advanced practitioner in Ophthalmology, which means he has completed further training in eye medicine.

Mark did some tests on Kobe's eyes and diagnosed macropalpebral fissure and trichiasis. This condition is characterized by excessively large eyelids. This in turn means the eyelids can't do their job properly to protect the eyes and the hairs on Kobe's face were rubbing in his eyes causing severe irritation.

This condition is often seen in breeds with flatter faces and "bug" eyes like pugs, french bulldogs, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Mark Ames BVSc CertVDI CertVOphthal MRCVS

Mark recommended an operation called medial canthoplasty, which would change the shape of Kobe's eyelids, allowing him to close them properly. Kobe went to our Thatcham branch to have his surgery, where we have specialist ophthalmic equipment to enable Mark to perform delicate eye procedures.

Kobe has recovered very well from his surgery and his owners are very pleased with his progress. Initially, dogs can look a bit different from what the owners are used to seeing, simply because the eyes are not bulging like they used to. Once the hair has grown back and incisions have healed, everything looks better than before! Kobe's owners report he no longer has a stinky wet face and can now close his eyes fully when he sleeps

What do Kobe's owners think?

"We thought this condition would be something that Kobe would have to put up with his whole life and that we would just manage. We tried all the remedies we came across including filtering his water and even feeding him blueberries (which he loved!!) and nothing seemed to make the tears subside, the stains and smell getting worse and worse.

The diagnosis from Mark at Donnington Grove was very quick and the implications of both carrying out the surgery and avoiding it were upfront and frank which we hugely appreciated

Kobe's appearance after the surgery dramatically changed from his big buggy eyes and in all honesty, we were concerned whether we'd done the right thing. One month later, his eyes started looking great and 3 months later his eyes are perfect and he looks fantastic and back to his photogenic self - trust the process! And of course, no more tears whatsoever!

We can't thank Mark and all the team at Donnington Grove enough for this invaluable surgery and fixing a problem we thought we'd have to deal with for years to come" - Kate and Rob, Kobe's dedicated owners.

3 months post surgery!

As well as macropalpebral fissure, Mark also treats other conditions of the eye such as

  • Cherry eye

  • Distichia

  • Entropion

  • Non-healing corneal ulcers

  • Glaucoma

  • Cataracts

Mark welcomes referrals from local practices as well as second opinions.

To book an initial consultation, please give us a call 01635 47170


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