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What is Optimmune?
Optimmune eye ointment for dogs contains Cyclosporin A as its active ingredient. Optimmune is a prescription only medicine, usually prescribed for dogs that are suffering from a condition known as dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
How does Optimmune work?
Optimmune works by suppressing the ability of the immune system to function within the eye. This specifically reduces the function of T lymphocytes and the immune-mediated destruction of the tear gland.
What is Optimmune used for?
Optimmune is used for the treatment of chronic, recurrent conjunctivitis resulting from autoimmune disease of the eye. Optimmune is indicated for the therapeutic treatment of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS, ‘dry eye’) and chronic superficial keratitis (‘pannus’) in the dog. Optimmune be used to augment topical corticosteroids or as a substitute for corticosteroids when these are contraindicated by corneal ulceration.
What is Dry Eye or Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)?
Dry eye or KCS occurs when dogs are unable to produce the watery, aqueous layer that makes up part of the tear film. This results in the cornea (at the front of the eye) becoming dry and inflamed and can even lead to the development of corneal ulcers. Often, animals that are suffering from dry eye will have dull, red eyes with a thick, mucous discharge forming at the corner of the eye. In severe cases, if left untreated, affected animals may lose some or all of their vision. Dry eye is thought to affect 1 in every 22 dogs in the UK. There are several different causes of dry eye, however the most common cause is thought to be immune-mediated destruction of the tear gland. This occurs when your dog's immune system changes and starts to recognise the tear-producing cells as being foreign. Optimmune contains cyclosporin (an immunosuppressive drug) that reduces the immune-mediated destruction of tear glands, allowing your dog to naturally produce the aqueous component of the tear film. This is essential in keeping the eye lubricated and protected from infection and inflammation.
Which Breeds Are Most Susceptible to Dry Eye?
Any breed of dog can develop dry eye, however the following breeds seem more susceptible than others: • English Cocker Spaniel • West Highland White Terrier • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel • Shih-Tzu
How Should Optimmune be used?
You should always follow the advice of your Vet when using Optimmune. Unfortunately, dry eye is often a life-long condition that cannot be cured and requires continual medication. It is important to continue with optimmune unless told otherwise by your vet, even if your dog's eyes appear to have improved. Generally, most dogs are initially started on twice daily treatment and around 5mm of optimmune paste (about the size of a grain of rice) is required. Gloves should be worn when handling this product. Increased tear production is expected within 10 days of treatment, although maximal levels may not be reached until 6 weeks following treatment. Your Vet may also prescribe other drugs such as steroids for their anti-inflammatory effects, and antibiotics to clear up infections. Artificial tears may also be recommended to make the eye feel more comfortable. None of these treatments will however, treat the underlying cause which is the destruction of tear glands by the immune system. Optimmune is the only product that can achieve this goal.
A Veterinary Prescription is Required for Optimmune