Case Study 1

The diagnosis is septic ulcerative keratitis. Although this may have started with minor trauma, the breed’s predisposition to lagophthalmos (incomplete blink reflex) makes these animals highly susceptible to corneal infections with collagenase-producing bacteria resulting in rapidly progressive corneal ulcers. This has a severe concurrent uveitis with pus in the anterior chamber (hypopyon).

Recommended Treatment

Aggressive treatment is indicated to prevent globe rupture. A conjunctival grafting procedure will provide mechanical support and a source of vascularized tissue as a source of leukocytes and fibroblasts. In addition, systemic, subconjunctival and frequent (q 2 hr) topical antibiotics are used.

Six weeks after the conjunctival grafting procedure, the graft is well-incorporated into the corneal defect and the infection has resolved with clearing of the anterior chamber and cornea except in the area of the graft. Under topical anesthesia, the graft can be trimmed, leaving only a small central opacity.

Future prophylactic treatment for the lagophthalmos might include application of artificial tear ointments once or twice daily. Tear function should be monitored.