Information About Cyclosporine Eye Drops For Dogs

 Cyclosporine Eye Drops For Dogs

Cyclosporine eye drops for dogs are a type of immune suppressing medication which is used to treat dry eye and chronic superficial keratitis in dogs. This medication is made from a soil fungus and was originally developed to prevent the body’s rejection of internal organ transplants. However, research proved that the eye drop formula to be very effective as a treatment for KCS in dogs as well. A rather large percentage, almost 40%, of dogs who have ocular problems suffer from KCS. The breeds which have this problems the most are bulldogs, Yorkies, Cocker spaniels, Yorkies and Shih Tzus. KCS develops when an animal’s immune system suppresses tear production.

Why is tear production so important? It helps to first know what exactly tears are. Tears are made up of anti-bacterial proteins, salts, sugars and oxygen to help bring nourishment to the eye. Tears protect the eyes against irritants and even possibly infectious agents. These irritants constantly bombard our eyes. Since the outer portions of the eyes do not have it’s own blood supply, these tears also remove metabolic wastes as well.

Tears are secreted by a set of “lacrimal glands”, one just above the eyelid and the other in third eyelid or “nictating membrane”. When no tears are produced, the eyes become irritated and the delicate tissues around the eye become red. The cornea itself will become brown over time and blindness can result if this condition is left untreated. There will also be a thick yellow discharge as well. This is where cyclosporine eye drops comes into play as the recommended treatment for this condition.

The disease canine distemper can be one cause of the failure of the production of tears. Genetics can cause a lack of tear production as well in some dogs such as Yorkshire terriers. “Dry eye” can also be the result to exposure to sulfa drugs as well. This can either be temporary or permanent. Anesthesia can also lead to temporary lack of tear production. A blow to the head in one of the areas of the tear production glands can also lead to KCS.

As stated earlier, cyclosporin was originally designed to help organ transplant recipients in fighting transplant rejection, it suppresses the ocular destruction which is caused by KCS and tear production is restored. The cyclosporin eye drops for dogs can actually save the dog’s sight.

In the past, animal hospitals had no choice but to make the cyclosporine eye drops out of a mixture of the oral cyclosporine and vegetable oil. this stopped when the Schering-Plough company came out with Optimmune eye ointment which contains 0.2% cyclosporine. However, this is a very difficult product to get so many vets have started making their own version again.

Once treatment has started using the cyclosporine eye drops for dogs, the dog’s eyes have to be rechecked in three weeks for any improvement. If the Schirmer tear test is still showing low results, then the medication can be given three times daily. If more positive results show from the test, dosage can be lowered to once daily.

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