Claude is our amazing case of the Month - if you are squeamish about eyes this is probably not one for you but read on to see how his eyesight was saved! Claude should really be case of the month for November and December! As a very smart Shih Tzu he has classically very large eyeballs and the poor boy presented to us with the biggest Corneal Abscess we have ever seen! Thanks to his brilliant owners being so diligent with his treatment though, we are pleased to report he's made a full recovery.
The cornea is the clear part of your eyeball that you see through. It is actually a form of modified skin and like our skin is made up of lots of layers - a bit like an onion.
If the cornea gets damaged the layers of this delicate structure can ulcerate quickly. This can be a disaster as the globe contains fluid under pressure and if the cornea weakens the eye can pop like a balloon. Not only is this incredibly painful but it can render the patient blind.
With Claude he had damaged his corneal surface and bacteria had got into this ulcer and created a large abscess. The risk of a rupture was large and his owners were sensible enough to bring him straight to the Barn. The first port of call was to fit a buster collar (lampshade) to protect the eye from any further trauma. If you have a breed of dog or cat with large eyeballs we would always recommend having a collar at home in case of emergency.
Claude was an incredibly good patient. Pain relief, oral antibiotics and topical drops were started immediately whilst we waited for a swab result to tell us what was growing in his eye. His owners were amazing, putting drops in hourly to begin with and at the height of his treatment using 4 different kind of eye drops and tablets in combination.
Thankfully the antibiotics started to work and amazingly over the following weeks the eye began to heal. The photos below follow the journey over the six weeks. The blood vessels that you can see growing over the corneal surface are a good thing in these cases, as it is the quickest way for the body to heal the injured tissue. Amazingly as you can see these blood vessels eventually all regress and the cornea eventually clears. We were expecting some scar tissue in this instance but Claude is made of strong stuff and has made a complete recovery!