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  • Author or Editor: Stefano Pizzirani x
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Case Description—A 14-year-old 8.2-kg (18.04-lb) castrated male Cairn Terrier with chronic keratoconjunctivitis sicca in the left eye was evaluated because of severe blepharospasm and a black plaque of 3 weeks’ duration.

Clinical Findings—Abnormalities of the left eye included a decreased Schirmer tear test value and the presence of a brownish-black plaque in the center of the cornea. The plaque was surrounded by fibrovascular tissue except at the medial aspect where there was mild malacia of the adjacent corneal stroma.

Treatment and Outcome—The plaque was removed by superficial keratectomy, and a conjunctival graft was performed. Histologic evaluation of the plaque and surrounding cornea revealed ulceration, stromal necrosis, and chronic suppurative keratitis with fibrosis and neovascularization. Evaluation of plaque sections that were stained with Gram and Von-Kossa stains yielded negative results for bacteria and mineralization, respectively; examination of sections stained with periodic acid–Schiff stain revealed multiple intracytoplasmic inclusions in macrophages. Virus isolation and a PCR assay for canine herpesvirus yielded negative results. Transmission electron microscopy revealed collagen disruption with interspersed macrophages and apoptotic keratocytes; no viral particles or evidence of other infectious agents was observed. The graft healed without complication and was trimmed 2 weeks after surgery. Four months after surgery, the Schirmer tear test value remained decreased from reference limits despite topical tacrolimus treatment, and pigmentary keratopathy was present surrounding the graft.

Clinical Relevance—Corneal sequestra are rare in species other than cats. In this dog, it was possible that chronic keratoconjunctivitis sicca might have contributed to the development of the corneal sequestrum.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To compare concentrations of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) in aqueous humor from ophthalmologically normal dogs and dogs with naturally occurring primary angle-closure glaucoma (cPACG).


Aqueous humor samples from 12 eyes with cPACG and 18 ophthalmologically normal eyes of dogs.


A multiplex fluorescence-based ELISA was used to measure concentrations of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-10, MMP-13, TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and TIMP-4. Results for eyes with versus without cPACG were compared.


Significantly higher mean concentrations of MMP-1 (45% higher), MMP-2 (55% higher), MMP-3 (39% higher), MMP-8 (79% higher), MMP-9 (29% higher), MMP-10 (60% higher), TIMP-1 (63% higher), and TIMP-2 (136% higher) were detected in aqueous humor from eyes with cPACG, compared with ophthalmologically normal eyes.


MMPs and TIMPs have pivotal roles in extracellular matrix turnover and homeostasis in the outflow pathways of the eye. Results of the present study documented higher concentrations of MMPs and TIMPs in aqueous humor samples from dog eyes with late-stage cPACG. Although, to our knowledge, TIMPs have not previously been evaluated in the context of cPACG, the markedly higher concentration of TIMPs in eyes with cPACG suggested that inhibition of proteolysis and extracellular matrix turnover might be a factor in the development of glaucoma in susceptible individuals. However, because the present study used samples from dogs with late-stage cPACG, further work is required to characterize the temporal relationship between MMP and TIMP concentration changes and onset or progression of disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To investigate whether differences existed between clinically normal dogs and dogs with goniodysgenesis-related glaucoma (GDRG) in serum autoantibodies against optic nerve antigens.

Animals—16 dogs with GDRG, 17 healthy dogs with unremarkable pectinate ligament and iridocorneal angle morphology, and 13 euthanized dogs with no major ocular abnormalities or underlying diseases.

Procedures—Western blotting was performed with optic nerve extracts from the euthanized dogs as an antigen source and serum from clinically normal dogs and dogs with GDRG as a primary antibody (autoantibody) source. Blots were evaluated for presence and density of bands.

Results—Multiple bands were identified on western blots from all dogs with GDRG and all clinically normal dogs, with a high degree of variability among individual dogs. Dogs with GDRG were significantly more likely than healthy dogs to have bands present at 38, 40, and 68 kDa. Dogs with GDRG had significant increases in autoreactivity at 40 and 53 kDa and a significant decrease in autoreactivity at 48 kDa.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Significant differences in serum autoantibodies against optic nerve antigens were found in dogs with versus without GDRG. Although it remains unclear whether these differences were part of the pathogenesis of disease or were sequelae to glaucomatous changes, these findings provide support for the hypothesis that immune-mediated mechanisms play a role in the development or progression of GDRG. However, the high degree of variability among individual dogs and the considerable overlap between groups suggest that the clinical usefulness of this technique for distinguishing dogs with GDRG from clinically normal dogs is likely limited.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize clinical and clinicopathologic findings, response to treatment, and causes of systemic hypertension in cats with hypertensive retinopathy.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—69 cats with hypertensive retinopathy.

Procedure—Medical records from cats with systemic hypertension and hypertensive retinopathy were reviewed.

Results—Most cats (68.1%) were referred because of vision loss; retinal detachment, hemorrhage, edema, and degeneration were common findings. Cardiac abnormalities were detected in 37 cats, and neurologic signs were detected in 20 cats. Hypertension was diagnosed concurrently with chronic renal failure (n = 22), hyperthyroidism (5), diabetes mellitus (2), and hyperaldosteronism (1). A clearly identifiable cause for hypertension was not detected in 38 cats; 26 of these cats had mild azotemia, and 12 did not have renal abnormalities. Amlodipine decreased blood pressure in 31 of 32 cats and improved ocular signs in 18 of 26 cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Retinal lesions, caused predominantly by choroidal injury, are common in cats with hypertension. Primary hypertension in cats may be more common than currently recognized. Hypertension should be considered in older cats with acute onset of blindness; retinal edema, hemorrhage, or detachment; cardiac disease; or neurologic abnormalities. Cats with hypertensioninduced ocular disease should be evaluated for renal failure, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and cardiac abnormalities. Blood pressure measurements and funduscopic evaluations should be performed routinely in cats at risk for hypertension (preexisting renal disease, hyperthyroidism, and age > 10 years). Amlodipine is an effective antihypertensive agent in cats.(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:695–702)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association