Corneal Ulcer in Dogs

Ulcerous lesion of the cornea is called ulcerative keratitis - this is a serious eye disease, which can lead to severe consequences, up to the complete blindness of the pet. This pathology is detected in both humans and dogs. But it does not matter who is the patient, the main thing is that the patient receives timely medical help. What threatens the ulcer of the cornea in dogs and how is this disease treated?


What is ulcerative keratitis

The corneal layer is the anterior part of the shell of the organ of vision, which includes several layers:

  • upper - epithelial, is the protective coating of the organ of vision;
  • then follows the stroma - the basis of the entire cornea;
  • The Desessete membrane (Descemet's membrane) - posterior border wall;
  • the posterior epithelial layer is the corneal endothelium, it supports the weak dehydration of the eyeball.

In a normal state, the cornea has a smooth, transparent surface without any roughness, and there are no blood vessels in its layers. And since it contains a huge number of nerve roots, this area is characterized by increased sensitivity. Ulcer of the cornea in dogs read the article

The ulcerative lesion of the cornea affects the uppermost epithelial layer. If you draw an analogy with skin damage, then the ulcer is a scratch, but not skin, and the corneal layer, and this pathology is considered more dangerous.

The condition of a sick animal suffering from an ulcer is aggravated by the fact that because of the abundance of nerve endings in the cornea, this form of keratitis is accompanied by intolerable morbidity. The pain knocks the pet out of the usual rut, does not allow it to eat normally, rest, causes insomnia. This condition quickly leads to a nervous and physical exhaustion of the dog.

Against the background of damage, the epithelial layer of the eye degrades rather quickly, the body is deprived of reliable protection against various infectious agents. Ulcerative keratitis is a serious pathology, a complication of which is often bacterial infection of the eyes and subsequent blindness.

Types of erosion and the causes of their occurrence

There are several types of ulcerative keratitis. First of all, depending on the cause, the disease can be infectious or non-infectious. The occurrence of infectious ulcers is often associated with viral, bacterial, fungal infection of the cornea. In addition, damage can be caused by infection by parasites.

Such a peptic ulcer is difficult to treat and very often recurs. Most often an infectious ulcer causes staphylococcus, streptococcus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, herpes virus, coronaviruses, Koch's stick. In addition, at home pets the cause of ulcerative keratitis can be chlamydial infection.

With non-infectious keratitis factors provoking the appearance of ulcers on the corneal layer, the following conditions can occur:

  • breed predisposition - most often eye pathologies develop in dogs with bulging eyes (brachycephalus) - Pekingese, Japanese chinas, shih-tzu, boston terriers, French bulldogs, Great Danes, Labradors, etc .;
  • hit of a foreign body on the cornea and third eyelid;
  • change in the position of the eyelids (twists);
  • dry eye syndrome;
  • burn of the mucous eye - chemical, thermal, ultraviolet, etc .;
  • a violation of the growth of eyelashes (distribution, ciliium) which begin to scratch, rub the surface of the cornea;
  • limbal insufficiency of the cornea;
  • lowering of local immunity.

Also, specialists distinguish superficial and deep ulcerative keratitis:

  • superficial pathology - the lesion affects the epithelial layer and the stroma of the cornea;
  • a deep pathology - ulcers spread to all layers of the stroma. With the progression of the disease, the pathological process penetrates the corneal thickness, affecting the dyscemea membrane, which threatens to perforate the anterior shell of the eyeball;
  • descemetocele - a condition in which complete perforation of the corneal layers occurs, when a through damage occurs and reaches the descemet's layer.

Separate attention deserves a chronic erosion of the cornea, in which the damage does not heal for a long time. Pathology is called endogenous erosion or ulcer of boxers. The risk group of this pathology includes representatives of the following breeds: Boxer, Dachshund, Spaniel, Spitz, etc. Most often the disease is diagnosed in animals older than 5 years.

The peculiarity of keratitis in this case is that the lesions can not heal for weeks, and there are no visible reasons for this, and the medicines used do not have a positive effect.

The cause of the disease lies deep - the contact of the epithelial cells with the cells of the basal membrane fails, therefore, normally recovering epithelial tissues can not fix on the membrane, and their slipping occurs. Naturally, in such conditions, the damaged area simply has nothing to close.

Quite often ulcerative keratitis has no pronounced signs, and the owner of the dog does not notice that his pet is sick. But over time the disease progresses, the dog begins to feel severe pain and discomfort. At the first symptoms of the disease, the dog should be shown to the veterinarian.

Symptoms of corneal ulcers in dogs

When the owner of the dog is worried about the condition of the pet? In the acute stage, the erosion of the cornea is accompanied by increased isolation of tear fluid and photophobia.

The pet makes constant attempts to rub his eyes with his paws, further exacerbating the condition of the visual organ - in this situation, it is possible to injure the injured organ and secondary infection of the existing wounds. Conjunctiva blushes, there are spasms of the eyelids. doggie and apple

Gradually, the existing sores become more noticeable, if pathology is not treated, then a perforated ulcer may occur. Complication of this condition is panophthalmitis - an acute purulent inflammatory process that affects all tissues and membranes of the visual organ or loss of internal parts of the eye.

Diagnosis of corneal ulcers in dogs

In case of eye diseases in dogs, the owner is advised to contact a veterinary clinic that provides the services of narrow specialists. In this case, a consultation of an ophthalmologist is desirable. In addition, similar medical institutions have all the necessary instruments and apparatuses that allow the most accurate diagnosis of pathology.

But if this is not possible, it is still worthwhile to take the pet to the nearest veterinary station. First of all, the doctor performs an examination of the patient, revealing the violations:

  • external examination allows you to assess whether both visual organs are symmetrically located and deepened;
  • a reflex test is performed;
  • The specialist checks whether pain symptoms are present.

With the help of an ophthalmoscope and a slit lamp, an ophthalmologist examines the eyelid, cornea and anterior chamber of the organ. This is possible if there is no strong opacification of the cornea.

The doctor in the arsenal has several specific techniques that allow for a number of tests:

  1. The Schirmer test - gives an opportunity to investigate the process of secretion of tears in order to reveal the dry eye syndrome. To carry out the test, a strip of filter paper with an edge is bent and placed behind the lower eyelid. Within 5 minutes it becomes impregnated with tear fluid, if the eye is healthy. With pathology, the paper remains completely dry.
  2. Seidel's test with fluorescein is a technique in ophthalmology, which allows to detect damages penetrating the corneal membrane, and it is also used as an additional method for studying the activity of the lacrimal gland. The test is carried out as follows: the specialist applies a local anesthetic on the corneal surface - bury the eyes 2-3 times. After the fluorescent solution is applied. Then the doctor with a cotton swab slightly presses on the eye, assessing the leakage from the damaged area in the light of the ultraviolet lamp. If a strip of dark color is washed out from the ulceration down to the green background, then the sample is considered positive, and the organ is perforated. In this case, urgent microsurgical sealing of the wound is required.

If an erosion is detected during the diagnosis, the expert examines the eyelid edges, assesses the condition of the conjunctival sac. In the process, it is possible to detect provoking factors: ectopic eyelashes, aggressively growing rigid dysthychial eyelashes, neoplasms, foreign components.

Treatment of corneal ulcers

First of all, by assessing the condition of the cornea of ​​a quadruple patient, the veterinarian decides whether it is possible to solve the problem with the help of conservative therapy or whether more serious, surgical intervention is required.

Traditionally, treatment includes the use of medications:

  1. Antibiotics. If ulcerative keratitis is caused by an infectious agent, then local antibacterial drugs are prescribed. On the surface of the eye, ointments or medicinal fluids are applied. Medicines are selected individually, depending on the infectious agent, the severity of the lesion, the breed and the age of the animal. Most often, the expert recommends the use of tetracycline, Erythromycin ointment, provided that the pathogen is sensitive to similar antibiotics. When infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a solution of Polymyxin M sulfate is injected into the eyes of the dog, and neomycin is injected under the conjunctiva.
  2. Drugs that dilate the pupil. For these purposes in ophthalmology, the drug Atropine is successfully used as an ointment or solution. The drug is used every 8-24 hours, gradually lowering the dosage.
  3. Antiviral medicines. Their use is required in the herpetic form of ulcerative keratitis in dogs. To the affected eye, a solution of Trifluridin or Idoxuridine is added with an interval of 4-6 hours, then, until clinical improvement can be achieved. Then within 1-2 weeks the dosage is gradually reduced.
  4. Preparations with anticollagenolytic effect. To treat eruptive ulceration, acetylcysteine ​​is most often used. 20% of the drug is diluted in an artificial tear fluid, until the concentration is 5-10%. The received agent is instilled in the eye, with an interval of 2-4 hours. In addition, the mixing of this drug with antibacterial drugs is allowed, for example, Gentamicin is added to Acetylcysteine ​​and the drugs are diluted with an artificial tear.
  5. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Preparations of this group have a pronounced anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. To treat animals from this group are often used acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin), for dogs a single dose is 10-15 mg, given with an interval of 12 hours.

If the veterinarian appoints several drugs, then they should be applied with a mandatory break, which should be at least 5 minutes. dog in the foliage

If the pet suffers from chronic corneal erosion, traditional therapeutic techniques will not help, since they do not provide attachment of epithelial cells.

For the treatment of chronic illness use the following methods of therapy:

  1. Removal of loose epithelial tissue with a cotton swab. After the procedure, a damaged surface is exposed, which most often turns out to be more extensive. Afterwards, medications with a pronounced antimicrobial effect are applied to the cornea. For the procedure, use local anesthetics in the form of eye drops. The event has low efficiency, and the patient needs several treatments at some interval. Corneal tissues heal slowly, often in their place formed a rough scar tissue.
  2. Keratomy is the method by which a number of different incisions are applied to the surface of the corneal layer, having a depression in the stroma surface. During the event, an insulin needle is used. If the dog reacts calmly to doctors and intervention, local anesthesia is used. But more often the animals need sedation, which is combined with the covering of the organ of vision with an apron of the third century, which increases the speed of healing. The effectiveness of surgical intervention averages 70%.
  3. Treatment of the eroded area with diamond boron. This is a specific device suitable for scarifying the cornea shell. With its use, the ophthalmologist removes unattached areas of the epithelium, creating a surface suitable for better engraftment of the renewed tissues. Among the advantages of this procedure, it can be noted the possibility of carrying out it without using general anesthesia, it is enough just to administer the drug with local anesthetic action. In some cases, the procedure should be repeated after 1-2 weeks, there are risks of formation of gross scars during healing of lesions.
  4. Keratectomy is an operation during which the upper corneal layer is removed along with the affected small basal membrane layer and part of the stroma. The healing of erosion is due to the complete restoration of the surface part, and not just the epithelial layer.

If the disease in any form is not treated, you can expect serious complications, the pet can go blind or completely lose sight of the eye. To avoid these serious conditions, you should pay more attention to the health of the pet, especially if there is a predisposition to eye diseases. Even with minor pathologies, the dog needs to be examined by a veterinarian.

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