PROCEDURES After collection of baseline clinical and historical data, dogs were randomly assigned to receive topically applied undiluted heterologous serum (n = 22) or isotonic saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (19) along with tobramycin and atropine. Epithelial debridement (at all visits) and grid keratotomy (at visits 2, 3, and 4) of SCCEDs were performed. Ophthalmic examination including fluorescein application was performed once weekly for 4 weeks or until corneal reepithelialization. Clinicians and owners were masked to treatment group.
RESULTS No differences in baseline data were detected between treatment groups. No difficulties with medication administration, noncompliance, or adverse reactions were noted. All SCCEDs in both groups healed by 4 weeks after treatment began. Median time to reepithelialization (2 weeks) was not significantly different between serum-treated and placebo-treated eyes. Irrespective of treatment group, median time to reepithelialization was not significantly different for Boxers versus non-Boxer breeds. Direct correlations were detected between time to reepithelialization and vascularization score at study entry, vascularization score at time of reepithelialization, and ulcer area at study entry in both groups. Time to reepithelialization was not correlated with age, sex, or duration of signs in either group.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Topical application of undiluted heterologous serum was well tolerated by dogs with SCCEDs but, as an adjunct to standard treatment, did not reduce time to corneal reepithelialization.