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Optimmune causes an increase in tear production within two weeks, but can take up to six weeks for the effect to reach its maximum level. Therefore, your vet may advise also using artificial tears during the early stages of treatment with Optimmune, to make your dog more comfortable.
Artificial tears need to be applied very frequently to keep your dog's eyes moist - every 30 minutes for some brands. They are not the treatment of choice for Dry Eye long term as they do not have all of the functions of natural tears (e.g. resisting infections) and do not control the underlying disease process. It is also impractical for most owners to apply artificial tears frequently enough to keep their dog's eyes comfortable.
Dogs with Dry Eye are susceptible to eye infections, so your dog may also need a short course of antibiotic eye drops to resolve this problem. Steroid eye drops are also sometimes prescribed to help control inflammation.
Neither antibiotics nor steroids treat the cause of Dry Eye or increase natural tear production.
It is important to recognise that only long term treatment with Optimmune ointment controls the destruction of tear tissue which is the underlying cause of Dry Eye, and increases natural tear production. For this reason, more than 99% of specialist ophthalmologists use Optimmune ointment to treat Dry Eye.
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