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Effects of topical ophthalmic application of 0.5% proparacaine hydrochloride on aerobic bacterial culture results for naturally occurring infected corneal ulcers in dogs

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effects of topical ophthalmic application of 0.5% proparacaine hydrochloride solution (PHCL; containing 0.01% benzalkonium chloride as preservative) on aerobic bacterial culture results for naturally occurring infected corneal ulcers in dogs.

DESIGN Clinical trial.

ANIMALS 25 client-owned dogs with infected corneal ulcers (24 unilaterally affected and 1 bilaterally affected; only 1 eye included/dog) examined between June 2008 and May 2011.

PROCEDURES Swab samples for aerobic bacterial culture were collected from the periphery of each corneal ulcer before and approximately 1 minute after topical ophthalmic application of 1 drop of PHCL. Numbers of aerobic bacterial species isolated from affected eyes were compared between sample collection points and between other variables (ie, side [left or right] of affected eye, prior treatments, and patient age, sex, and neuter status).

RESULTS There was no significant difference between numbers of aerobic bacterial species isolated per eye or overall aerobic bacterial culture results (positive or negative) before versus after PHCL application. Similarly, prior treatment had no significant effect on aerobic bacterial culture results for samples collected at either point. The most commonly isolated bacteria before and after PHCL application were Staphylococcus spp (40% and 48%, respectively), followed by Streptococcus spp (23% and 22%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Topical ophthalmic application of PHCL did not significantly affect aerobic bacterial culture results for naturally occurring infected corneal ulcers in dogs as assessed in this study. Therefore, topical ophthalmic PHCL application could be useful in clinical settings prior to sample collection to relieve patient discomfort and to aid in sample acquisition without compromising aerobic bacterial culture results.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Rankin (arankin@vet.k-state.edu).