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How do I know if my dog has Dry Eye?
Dry eye has a very varied appearance and only subtle changes to eyes may be present in the early stages of the disease. Specialist ophthalmologists recommend tear-testing virtually all sore eyes, especially if a dog has had more than one bout of conjunctivitis or eye infection in the last year. First opinion vets are able to do tear-testing in dogs during a normal consultation, and will often offer this as a routine test in susceptible breeds of dog, even if they do not show signs of discomfort or infection.
The test that will be done is the Schirmer Tear Test, as demonstrated in the photo from section All about Dry Eye > Diagnosing Dry Eye. It is quick, painless and does not require an anaesthetic to perform. This test will help to pick up early cases of Dry Eye and ensure that early treatment is started.
Why should I use Optimmune ointment to treat Dry Eye?
Ciclosporin ointment is the only product available which treats the underlying cause of Dry Eye, as well as the clinical signs e.g. redness, discharge. Ciclosporin ointment also stimulates natural tear production, which have many functions which cannot be replicated by artificial tears e.g. resisting infection.
How long should my dog take to respond to ciclosporin Optimmune?
Most dogs show an improvement in the appearance of their eyes within two weeks of starting ciclosporin ointment. It can take up to six weeks for the increase in tear production to be maximal.
Why do I need to keep applying Optimmune when my dog's eyes look better?
In the majority of cases, Dry Eye is a lifelong disorder which cannot be cured. As soon as treatment is stopped, the disease resumes and further destruction of tear tissue, and undesirable and painful changes to the eyes, continue. The less tear gland tissue remains, the worse the long-term outlook for your dog's eyes. An improvement in the appearance of your dog's eyes lets us know the treatment is working, but they will deteriorate again if treatment is stopped.
This site is intended for veterinary professionals and the owners of dogs who have been prescribed Optimmune. For more general information on Keratoconjnctivitis sicca or dry eye, please visit www.msd-animal-health-hub.co.uk/KBPH