breakdown of the cornea
What is it?
Corneal degeneration is a superficial gray to white discoloration (opacity) that develops in an area of prior injury that has undergone an abnormal healing process.
Who is susceptible?
The condition often develops in geriatric dogs with delayed wound healing related to their age.
What causes it?
The discoloration represents scarring and deposits of mineral (calcium), lipid and cholesterol.
How is it treated?
Eyes with corneal degeneration are often comfortable, however the calcium deposits can incite inflammation and irritation in the cornea and cause superficial erosions to develop. In these cases, eye drops or ointments containing ethylendiaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is prescribed to chelate (bind) the calcium in the cornea, and promote healing of the corneal erosions and improve comfort. In severe cases where discomfort persists despite medical therapy, we recommend a surgical procedure to remove the mineralized surface layers of the cornea (superficial keratectomy).