Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment
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At a Glance
Relieves โ€˜dry eyeโ€™ symptoms
Reduces eye inflammation
Soothing and easy to apply

Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment

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At a Glance
Relieves โ€˜dry eyeโ€™ symptoms
Reduces eye inflammation
Soothing and easy to apply

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Merck Animal Health Logo
Protect your pet's eyes with Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment. One of the most common eye ailments facing dogs is dry eye (scientifically known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or KCS). Dogs suffering from KCS experience dry, red, and itchy eyes due to their inability to produce enough tears to keep their eyes moist.

The active ingredient in Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment modifies your dog's immune response to correct and reduce symptoms of KCS, as well as to treat Chronic Superficial Keratosis, an inflammation of the cornea. Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment is FDA-approved and treats dry eye' without causing system toxicity. It is also preservative-free and thus has little chance of causing secondary or chemical infections in your pet.
  • Merck Animal Health Brand
  • Ear & Eye Care Cleaning & Grooming
  • Eye Care Pharmacy
  • Merck Animal Health Manufacturer
  • Cream Application
  • Spot On/Topical Application
  • Dog Pet Type

What Is Optimmune Ointment Used For?

Optimmune Walgreens is an eye ointment that contains 0.2% cyclosporine as its active ingredient. When your pet is affected by different eye issues like Chronic Superficial Keratitis or Chronic Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, your vet can prescribe this ointment to treat these issues. While your vet may prescribe this ointment for other medical problems, Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment is primarily used for these two eye infections.

How Long Does a Tube of Optimmune Last?

The length of time this medication lasts depends on the severity of the infection, the type of infection, and the number of times they need dosing. Customers have reported that it can last as long as six weeks or a month and a half. Please note that this is a preservative-free formula and shouldn't be stored for too long. This is also a prescription medication for a sensitive part of your dog's anatomy. You might damage their eyes if you don't use it under the medical supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

How Do You Use Optimmune Ointment?

Typically, you should apply a 1/4th inch strip of this ointment to your dog's eye. Your vet will show you exactly where you should apply this ointment on your dog's eye, or you may even be told at the pharmacy. The frequency of application is something that will be unique to your dog, and your vet will inform you about the same. Since this is a prescription medication, you should follow your vet's advice to the T even if you know other people who have used the medicine differently.

Can Optimmune Cause Blindness?

Like any medicine, Optimmune has a few side effects. If you notice that your dog's eyes are red or swollen, if they are in discomfort, have spasms, or have hair loss, you need to contact your vet immediately. Please note that while this medicine doesn't cause blindness, the diseases it treats can definitely cause blindness if left untreated.

How Quickly Does Optimmune Work?

Optimmune can take a little time to show results. It can take up to two weeks after starting treatment for you to see any difference visually. Since the eye is a sensitive area, the medicines used there are mild and take some time to work. If you don't see any improvement in a week, don't fret. The medicine is quietly working in the background to get your dog some relief from the constant irritation. Your vet should give you a timeframe beyond which you should contact him or her about modifying treatment.

Is Dry Eyes in Dogs Curable?

Dry eyes can be managed exceptionally well. While there is no cure, your dog's quality of life shouldn't be impacted because of this condition. Some breeds are more prone to dry eyes than others. Some of them are the Pug, Boston Terrier, English Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Samoyed, and the Bloodhound.

Do I Need a Prescription for Optimmune?

Yes, Optimmune is a regulated medication. This means that your chosen online or offline pharmacy requires a veterinary prescription from you in order to sell you this medicine. Since this is an extremely sensitive eye medication, you should also never use it without veterinary supervision.

Is Dry Eye In Dogs Painful?

Without treatment, dogs with dry eyes can suffer from pain and constant irritation in their eyes. They might paw at their eyes and hurt themselves by constantly fussing with the area. However, this can and does go down when owners follow proper treatment protocols.

What Does Dry Eye Look Like?

When dogs have dry eyes, the eyes are typically red and irritated. They can blink more than normal in order to keep their eyes moist, and some can even keep their eyes shut to avoid drying them out. You might also notice a thick yellow discharge in their eyes. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, you should set up an appointment with your vet and state these symptoms.

Is Dog Dry Eye Contagious?

Dry eye is caused because of a bunch of different reasons. Your dog could have an immune disorder that damages their tear ducts. They could have a systemic disease that causes decreased tear film production. Dry eye can also be caused by distemper, hypothyroidism, inner ear infections, and even some medications. While the condition itself isn't infectious, some underlying diseases like distemper are highly contagious. If your suspect an animal in your house has dry eyes, you should isolate them until you and your vet figure out what is causing it.

Can dry eye in dogs lead to blindness?

Dry eye, medically known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is a condition that can affect dogs. It occurs when there is insufficient tear production or when the tears evaporate too quickly, leading to dryness and irritation of the cornea and conjunctiva. While dry eye itself does not directly cause blindness in dogs, if left untreated or poorly managed, it can lead to complications that may eventually result in vision loss. Tears play a crucial role in maintaining the health of the eyes by providing lubrication, oxygen, and nutrients to the cornea. Without an adequate tear film, the cornea can become dry, inflamed, and prone to infections and ulcers. These complications, if not addressed promptly, can progress and potentially lead to scarring and damage to the cornea, which can impair vision.

How long does dry eye heal?

Dry eye syndrome, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is a condition that can affect dogs. The duration of symptoms and the healing time for dry eye can vary depending on the underlying cause and the effectiveness of treatment. In most cases, dogs with dry eye syndrome show improvement within 12 weeks, with many experiencing positive changes within the first 6 weeks of treatment. Adequate tear production is crucial for maintaining the health of the eyes, and once tear production is restored to normal levels, the dog's symptoms typically improve. Regular veterinary rechecks are important to monitor the progress of the treatment and ensure the dog's eye health is maintained. Rechecks are usually scheduled every 3-4 months after the tear production has been restored. These follow-up appointments help assess the dog's tear production, monitor any potential complications or relapses, and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

What foods help dry eyes in dogs?

Vitamin A plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the eyes. Liver, particularly beef and chicken liver, is often regarded as a nutrient-dense food. It is rich in various vitamins, including vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining eye health. Vitamin A plays a role in the production of tears and the overall health of the cornea. Omega-3 Fatty Acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can help support tear production. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fish (such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel), flaxseed, and chia seeds. Antioxidants help protect the eyes from oxidative stress and damage. Fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, cranberries, broccoli, and spinach, are excellent sources of antioxidants.

Is dry eye serious?

Dry eye, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), can be a serious condition in dogs if left untreated or poorly managed. While dry eye itself is not life-threatening, it can lead to various complications that can affect the overall health and vision of the dog. When a dog experiences dry eye, there is a lack of proper tear production or rapid evaporation of tears, resulting in dryness and irritation of the cornea and conjunctiva. Without an adequate tear film, the cornea can become dry, inflamed, and susceptible to infections and ulcers. These complications, if not addressed promptly, can lead to corneal scarring, corneal erosions, and even vision loss.

What is the main cause of dry eyes?

The main cause of dry eyes, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), in dogs is a condition called immune-mediated lacrimal gland destruction. This means that the immune system of the dog mistakenly attacks and destroys the tear-producing glands, leading to insufficient tear production. The exact reason why the immune system targets the tear glands in some dogs is not fully understood. However, certain factors are believed to contribute to the development of dry eyes. Certain breeds are more prone to developing dry eyes. Breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs, Lhasa Apsos, and West Highland White Terriers have a higher incidence of dry eye. Dry eyes can also be secondary to other underlying health conditions. Certain systemic diseases, such as autoimmune disorders, endocrine disorders (like hypothyroidism), and infections, can contribute to tear gland dysfunction and result in dry eye. Trauma or injury to the eye, such as chemical or thermal burns, can damage the tear glands and lead to decreased tear production. Additionally, aging, certain medications (such as certain antibiotics and antihistamines), and environmental factors (such as dry or dusty environments) can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.


Cyclosporine opthalmic oiuntment (Cyclosporine) is indicated for the treatment of keratoconjunctivits sicca (KCS or โ€œdry eyeโ€) and chronic superficial keratitis (pannus) in dogs. Keratoconjunctivits sicca is a condition in which insufficient tears are produced. Keratitis refers to the growth of a film across the surface of the eyes and this condition is commonly observed in German Shepherd breed of dogs. It is also used for the treatment of anal furunculosis - an immune mediated skin disease affecting the skin around anus.

Cyclosporine ophthalmic ointment is FDA approved for use in dogs. The standard dosage is to apply a ยผ inch strip of ointment to the affected eye(s) twice a day. While administering, the ointment may be placed directly on the cornea or into the conjunctival sac. Make sure to remove debris from the eyes using non-irritating solution before the application of the ointment.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: For ophthalmic use in dogs only. The safety of OPTIMMUNEยฎ has not been determined in cases of preexisting viral or fungal ocular infections, nor in puppies, pregnant bitches, or dogs used for breeding. In clinical trials, ocular and periocular inflammatory reactions, transient hyperemia, epiphora, mild discomfort of the eye and mild alopecia were reported in a small number of treated dogs. For full prescribing information, including directions for use, precautions and adverse reactions, see Package Insert.

Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment is not a cure for the above canine eye ailments, but regular use will help relieve symptoms and give comfort to your dog, particularly if treatment begins in the early stages of disease.

Do not use the ointment on dogs with hypersensitivity, allergy to cyclosporine, stomach ulcers, kidney impairment, certain blood disorders and viral or fungal infections of the eye. Extreme caution is required when used on pregnant, breeding or lactating dogs. Use with caution in dogs less than 6 months of age or weighing less than 4.5lbs. Store the medication between 2ยฐ and 30ยฐC. Make sure to treat any mild infections before therapy; failing to do the so could result in bacterial or fungal infection. Consult the veterinarian, if the ocular irritation continues for more than 7 days.ย 

Usage of the medicine in non-dry eye patients results in increased tear production. Most commonly, side effects like inflammatory reactions, lid spasm, and excessive rubbing are observed. Mild irritation is observed during the first few days of the treatment.

Ask your veterinarian or consult with one of our pet care specialists at 1-800-844-1427.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website. Our medications are FDA approved and/or EPA regulated when and as required by law.

Before use, remove any debris from your dogโ€™s eye, then apply a ยผ inch strip of ointment to the cornea near the lower eyelid. This treatment is for chronic eye problems, and will most likely need to be administered on a regular basis.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the tube properly capped.

Optimmune Ophthalmic Ointment is manufactured by Merck Animal Health

How to Order Prescriptions Online

1. Find the Right Product

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2. Add to Cart

Just like any other online store. Make sure the quantity matches whatโ€™s been prescribed by your vetinarian.

3. Tell Us About Your Pet and Vet

Answer some questions during checkout and weโ€™ll contact your vet and verify the prescription for you. You can also mail us the written prescription.

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