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Corneal reconstruction in dogs and cats

F. Goulle

CORNEAL graft surgery is known to be effective in treating severe corneal defects, but it is difficult to obtain corneas for transplantation in veterinary patients. For this reason, small intestinal submucosa (SIS) has been used in corneal reconstruction. This retrospective study evaluated the efficacy of porcine SIS in corneal reconstruction in dogs and cats.

Sixty dogs and 42 cats (106 eyes in total) treated by a microsurgical graft of SIS to reconstruct corneas with severe defects between May 2005 and January 2010 were assessed. Among the dogs, the defects had resulted from a melting corneal ulcer (42 eyes), severe corneal injury (17) and surgical excision of an invasive epibulbar melanocytoma (one). Among the cats, the causes were excision of a corneal sequestrum (34), melting ulcerative keratitis (seven) and severe corneal injury (five). A SIS transplant of suitable size and thickness, made of one or more layers of the biomaterial, was placed into each lesion and sutured in place. The cases were examined three, six and 12 weeks postoperatively.

At the three-week assessment, the corneal epithelium was totally reconstituted in 97 cases. In the …

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