Mustafa came in on December 14th with three large corneal ulcers in his right eye and was very uncomfortable. Over the course of 3.5 weeks, and very aggressive treatment with a diligent owner, we prevailed and healed all of Mustafa’s ulcers!
The cornea is the outermost layer of the eye, and as such, is prone to trauma resulting in scratches or ulceration. Most common causes include trauma from plants outside or other pets, self-trauma by rubbing on floors or couches or scratching with their own paws, or even irritants from bathing or small hairs during grooming that then induces self-trauma. Typically, pets will keep the affected eye tightly closed or blink very frequently due to pain, may continue to rub or scratch at it, and can also develop mucoid discharge.
Any time your pet has an issue with an eye, they should be brought in as soon as possible for evaluation. A fluorescein stain will be used to confirm presence of an ulcer (as seen in the pictures below). Most ulcers are simple and healed within 1-2 weeks with appropriate treatment. Sometimes, certain breeds have predisposition to developing complicated ulcers. Occasionally, even with aggressive treatment, ulcers can be so severe that surgery performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist is necessary to repair the cornea.