Stellar Vets Littlehampton applying a contact lens to a dog with a corneal ulcer

Pesky Corneal Ulcers

Stellar Vets Littlehampton treats a stubborn corneal ulcer in a dogs eye with surgical debridement and a contact lens.

It’s true!  Dogs can wear contact lenses but probably not for the reason you think.

At Stellar Vets in Littlehampton we can use a contact lens to act like a protective bandage for the front of the eye, called the cornea, if it gets damaged. 

Damage to the cornea is termed an ulcer. Ulcers are painful but usually heal very quickly with eye medicine, usually antibiotic drops or ointments, eye lubricants and sometimes a special eye drop made from blood plasma. 

We use a special dye called fluorescein to help show up ulcers and their extent, the dye fluoresces under UV light and shines green. It can be quite dramatic!

We would normally expect an uncomplicated ulcer to heal within 5-7 days with topical treatments. However a small percentage of ulcers just will not heal this way.

These stubborn pesky ulcers require a surgical technique called debridement to kick start the healing process. This is usually performed under sedation and topical anaesthesia or a general anaesthetic. 

Debridement actually causes the ulcer to get BIGGER in the short term but it encourages the natural healing processes of the body to start working properly. 

This larger ulcer is obviously going to be uncomfortable for the patient and this is where the contact lens comes in. The contact lens acts as a protective bandage for the cornea and reduces the pain and discomfort the patient feels massively.

The contact lens will eventually fall our on its own.

After debridement the ulcer usually heals within 7-10 days.

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