Corneal Lipid Dystrophy
bilaterally symmetrical opacity of the cornea
What is it?
Corneal dystrophy is a bilaterally symmetrical disease of the cornea. It usually appears as a gray-white or silver opacity in the central corneal region. These opacities represent deposits of lipid and cholesterol in the cornea.
What causes it?
Abnormal lipid and cholesterol deposits in the cornea.
What are the symptoms?
A gray-white or silver opacity in the central corneal region. It is not associated with ocular discomfort except in a small number of dog breeds such as Shetland Sheepdogs and Airedales.
Who is susceptible to it?
Many breeds develop corneal lipid dystrophy. Hypothyroid dogs and those on high fat diets are more predisposed than other dogs.
How is it treated?
Occasionally, corneal dystrophy will develop in dogs with high levels of circulating serum cholesterol or lipid (fat). Should this be suspected, specific blood tests will be recommended to evaluate serum cholesterol and lipid levels (usually after the pet is fasted). In addition, dietary changes are usually recommended to help minimize further corneal deposits. The condition is rarely associated with significant visual impairment and owners are advised to monitor for changes in appearance and for signs of discomfort.