Corneal Ulcers: Diagnosis and Treatment

What is It?

Corneal ulcers are severe wounds on the front facing transparent membrane of the eye.

What Causes It?

Physical trauma to the eye, chemical burns, or underlying eye conditions can cause a corneal ulcer. It is important to note that a corneal abrasion is not the same as a corneal ulcer.

The difference is in the severity of the injury, corneal ulcers being the worse of the two.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • Redness of the affected eye
  • Squinting
  • Pawing at the eye
  • Increased blinking
  • Cloudy appearance of the eye

Is it Life Threatening?

No. It is still a serious and painful issue that requires immediate medical attention. If left untreated, corneal ulcers can lead to blindness or eye removal.

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How is It Diagnosed?

Your veterinarian will perform an ocular evaluation. Secondly, you vet will evaluate a fluorescein stain of the injured eye. A liquid is administered to the eye. The dye inside of it will pool in the ulcer. A florescent light shined on the eye will reveal the injury.

What Are The Treatments?

An E-collar will prevent your dog from touching the injury. Antibiotic eye drops will prevent further infection while the ulcer is healing. Atropine eye drops will help with localized pain management.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed to manage excessive pain.

Lubricating drops to help keep the eye lubricated while healing. There is also a surgical treatment which is reserved for severe situations. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.