Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Corneal ulceration

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, David Vella

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Introduction

  • Cause: trauma.
  • Signs: blepharospasm, ocular discharge, cloudy eye.
  • Diagnosis: fluorescein dye test.
  • Treatment: debridement of redundant devitalized epithelium at the ulcer edge where there is delayed healing; topical antibiotics.
  • Prognosis: usually favorable with appropriate treatment.
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Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Most corneal ulceration in reptiles is post-traumatic, although infection may be important in preventing healing or resulting in a more severe melting ulcer.
  • Foreign bodies and prolonged infections may also result in corneal ulceration.
  • In some older animals, geriatric lengthening of healing time may be an important factor precluding rapid healing, eg aged chelonia.
  • Post-traumatic corneal ulcers in reptiles (other than snakes where the spectacle protects the cornea from such trauma) is an area where we can extrapolate from what is known in mammals more frequently seen in veterinary practice.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Inappropriate enclosure substrates may predispose to corneal foreign bodies.

Pathophysiology

  • Ulcerated corneas may be susceptible to secondary infections.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Ballard B & Cheek R (2017) Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician. 3rd edn. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Girling S J (2013) Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Williams D (2012) The Reptile Eye. In: Ophthalmology of Exotic Pets. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 182-184.

Reproduced with permission from Bonnie Ballard & Ryan Cheek: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician © 2017, Simon J Girling: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets © 2013, and David L Williams: Ophthalmology of Exotic Pets © 2012, published by John Wiley & Sons.


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