Cyclosporine eye drops and ophthalmic ointment are used in dogs to treat dry eye and pannus. The veterinary term for dry eye is keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS. When used to treat KCS in dogs, cyclosporine causes increased tear production and decreases local inflammation in the eye and tear gland. It also has a calming effect on inflammation of the cornea. Dogs that respond well to cyclosporine ophthalmic should remain on the medication for the rest of their lives. Your veterinarian may perform a Schirmer Tear Test on your dog to determine the severity of your dog’s dry eye and to monitor tear production. At the beginning of treatment your veterinarian also may prescribe artificial tears to be used along with the cyclosporine ophthalmic until tear production has improved. It may take three to eight weeks until the full benefit of the cyclosporine therapy is reached. Cyclosporine is effective in about 75-85% of dogs with KCS.

Cyclosporine ophthalmic is also used in German Shepherds to treat pannus or chronic superficial keratitis. Pannus is an immune disorder of the cornea. Cyclosporine has become the treatment of choice because it is both effective and has a lower incidence of systemic side effects when compared to topical corticosteroids.


Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Ointment for dogs is used to treat dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), and corneal ulcers, as well as pannus, or superficial keratitis, seen in German Shepherds. Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant drug that began use in organ transplant patients. When applied topically to the eye, cyclosporine reduces inflammation and increases tear production.

Uses/benefits of Cyclosporine Eye Drops For Dogs

Cyclosporine solution is used by veterinarians to treat animals diagnosed with keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS. The drug is effective because it causes increased tear production while decreasing localized inflammation in the eye and tear gland. Cyclosporine’s natural anti-inflammatory properties help it soothe inflammation of the cornea.

There is no known cure for KCS currently available. Therefore, pets that respond well to cyclosporine treatment will usually need to remain on the medication for the rest of their lives. Approximately 75% to 85% of dogs with KCS respond well to cyclosporine solution.

Features of Cyclosporine Eye Drops For Dogs

A sterile eye solution containing cyclosporine which helps to treat keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS or dry eye) in dogs. Compounding is beneficial in instances where a specific dosage is unavailable or in different forms to make it easier to dose your pet. Cyclosporine Ophthalmic Solution Compounded requires a prescription from your veterinarian.

Dosage and Administration of Cyclosporine

Cyclosporine is a specially compounded medication, so the medicine is custom-made for your pet according to the dosage prescribed by the veterinarian. Therefore, it is important to administer this medication exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. It is usually applied once or twice a day. If you miss a dose of cyclosporine, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not administer a double dose to try and catch up.

When administering this medication, wear gloves and be careful not to touch the tube or container tip to your pet’s eye or eyelid. You also want to be mindful that you do not contaminate the medication by touching the tip with your fingers or hand. Your veterinarian will help you develop a technique for administering the solution that will be effective and minimally stressful to both you and your dog. Wash your hands thoroughly after administering this medication to your pet. If your pet is prescribed more than one eye medication, wait at least five minutes between medications. It can take from 3 to 8 weeks before an increase in tear production is noticeable.

Side Effects Of Cyclosporine For Dogs

Some side effects of cyclosporine occasionally appear in dogs. They most often relate to the digestive system. If you see concerning side effects in your dog, consult your vet, as they may wish to alter the dosage or seek an alternative form of treatment. Here are some of the side effects you might see with cyclosporine in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Mucus in stool
  • Otitis externa (commonly known as swimmer’s ear)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Overgrown gums
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Bacterial or fungal infection (due to weakened immune system)


When switching to this medication from another therapeutic agent (e.g., frequent application of an artificial tear preparation), keep in mind that clinical effectiveness is not necessarily apparent immediately after initiation of this medication. Several days to a few weeks may be required before the clinical effects are of sufficient magnitude, such that previously initiated therapy can be safely withdrawn. Abrupt cessation of a therapeutic agent immediately upon initiation can result in rapid clinical relapse, which may be erroneously interpreted as an adverse reaction to the medication. It is recommended that in cases of preexisting viral or fungal ocular infections, this medication is delayed until the infection has been successfully treated.

Prices of Cyclosporine Eye Drops For Dogs

$47.70 – $103.00

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