Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eyeing Treatments for Corneal Ulcers

Animal Health Supplier News published an article today with the headline, “Virbac Animal Health has announced the launch of a new corneal ulcer treatment for domestic canines and felines.” Domesticated rabbits are also prone to this condition since their corneas (the transparent front of the eye) cover about 30% of their eyes. The ulcers can be caused by something as simple as bedding or straw dust in the eye, fighting or excessive rubbing of the eye. (For more in depth information on causes go to this article.) It is a painful condition for any animal. Rabbits may stop eating due to the pain causing more serious medical issues.
The article never states the new drops are “safe” for rabbits specifically, yet the drops were tested on rabbits. Heidi Lobprise, senior technical manager at Virbac Animal Health, said: "Remend Corneal Repair Drops were proven to heal corneal ulcers within 48 hours in a rabbit study and have been safely and effectively used in cats and dogs in clinical practice." I don’t support testing on rabbits. Nonetheless, these drops were tested on domesticated rabbits and it would make sense the recommendations would include rabbits. If a medication can heal a corneal ulcer within two days, it would reduce further pain, and more serious complications. I would want my veterinarian to know.

According to PETA, the US Dept. of Transportation has approved the use of the non-animal Corrositex® tests to replace the use of rabbits in painful skin corrosion tests. (The DOT requires companies to test chemicals for corrosivity before they are transported.) The agency acknowledged that Corrositex® results are more precise than the results of the rabbit test! The new ruling is very good news for bunnies!