Sjögren's syndrome is a disease in which the immune system attacks the glands that make tears and saliva . The damage keeps the glands from working the way they should and makes the eyes and mouth dry. It is a systemic autoimmune disease, seen in older dogs, in which immune cells attack and destroy the exocrine glands that produce tears and saliva. Besides characteristic dry eyes and dry mounth, glandular inflammation,due to infilteration of white blood cells, is also present in this condition.
The disease may also cause fatigue and pain in the joints. In rare cases, it can damage the lungs, kidneys, and nerves.
Cause of this disease is still unknown however, invading antibodies are thought to be responsible for this disorder.
Breeds that are more prone to this syndrome include the English bulldog, West Highland white terrier, and miniature schnauzer.
Typically, the onset of symptoms associated with Sjögren-like syndrome begin once the dog reaches adulthood. Such symptoms include:
Dry eyes due to insufficient tear production (keratoconjuctivitis sicca); most prominent clinical feature
Inflammation of the tissues around the eye (conjunctivitis)
Inflammation of the cornea (keratitis)
Abnormal eye twitching (blepharospasm)
Redness of the tissue around the eyes
Corneal lesions (opacity to ulceration)
Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis)
Ulcers in the mouth (stomatitis)