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Nonhealing corneal ulcers in cats: 29 cases (1991–1999)

Noelle C. La Croix DVM1, Alexandra van der Woerdt DVM, MS, DACVO2, and Dennis K. Olivero DVM, DACVO3
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  • 1 Bobst Hospital of the Animal Medical Center, 510 E 62nd St, New York, NY 10021.
  • | 2 Bobst Hospital of the Animal Medical Center, 510 E 62nd St, New York, NY 10021.
  • | 3 Veterinary Ophthalmology Specialty Practice, 4053 Highway 7, Minneapolis, MN 55416.

Abstract

Objective—To compare mean healing times after debridement, debridement with grid keratotomy, and superficial keratectomy in cats with nonhealing corneal ulcers.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—29 cats with 36 nonhealing corneal ulcers.

Procedure—Medical records of cats with nonhealing corneal ulcers were reviewed. Signalment, duration of clinical signs, ophthalmic abnormalities, and response to various treatment protocols were recorded.

Results—Mean age of affected cats was 7 years, 8 months. Affected breeds included domestic shorthair (17 cats), Persian (9), Himalayan (2), and Siamese (1). Clinical signs were evident for approximately 2 weeks prior to referral. Both eyes were affected in 4 cats. Mean healing time of ulcers treated with superficial debridement was 30 days. Mean healing time of ulcers treated with superficial debridement and grid keratotomy was 42 days. Superficial keratectomy was performed on 2 eyes and resulted in a healing time of 2 weeks. Formation of a corneal sequestrum was evident in 2 of 21 eyes treated with superficial debridement. Formation of a corneal sequestrum was evident in 4 of 13 eyes treated with superficial debridement and grid keratotomy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Brachycephalic cats appear to be predisposed to developing nonhealing corneal ulcers. The combination of superficial debridement and grid keratotomy did not decrease mean healing time of nonhealing ulcers, compared with superficial debridement alone. Grid keratotomy may predispose cats with corneal ulcers to develop a corneal sequestrum. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:733–735)