Polarized light biomicroscopy was used to examine the pre-corneal tear film in 16 dogs which were suspected of, or confirmed to be, suffering from keratoconjunctivitis sicca. One animal displayed a normal tear film, while the other 15 showed variable degrees of abnormality. The abnormal features included: contamination of the ocular surface with particulate debris and plaques of mucus, discontinuity and excessive granularity of the surface lipid film, pronounced thinning of the aqueous phase, and breakup of the tear film.

After parotid duct transposition, the tear film of some animals was almost indistinguishable from normal. However, in others the surface lipid layer was thinned, discontinuous, or virtual absent. Discontinuity of surface lipid was most obvious in animals with marked salivary epiphora, and was associated with a variable amount of crystalline concretion over the ocular surface.

The clinical usefulness of polarized light biomicroscopy for the diagnosis, and subsequent monitoring, of keratoconjunctivitis sicca is discussed.