Objective To determine the efficacy of two antimicrobial-chondroitin sulfate ophthalmic solutions in the therapy of spontaneous chronic corneal epithelial defects (SCCED) and ulcerative keratitis associated with bullous keratopathy in dogs.
Animals Studied Eighty dogs with SCCED and 14 dogs with ulcerative keratitis associated with bullous keratopathy.
Procedure Following manual debridement of nonadherent epithelium, dogs were treated topically with a chondroitin sulfate ophthalmic solution containing either tobramycin or ciprofloxacin. Patients were re-evaluated at 2-week intervals for 4 weeks.
Results After 2 weeks of treatment, 53.6% of eyes with SCCED and 17.6% of eyes with ulcerative keratitis associated with bullous keratopathy had healed. After 4 weeks of treatment, 81.0% of eyes with SCCED and 23.5% of eyes with ulcerative keratitis associated with bullous keratopathy had healed. There were no statistically significant differences in healing percentages between the tobramycin-chondroitin sulfate solution treatment groups and the ciprofloxacin-chondroitin sulfate solution treatment groups. Two dogs with SCCED, one treated with the tobramycin-chondroitin sulfate solution and the other treated with the ciprofloxacin-chondroitin sulfate solution, developed sterile corneal stromal abscesses during the study.
Conclusions Topical therapy with an antimicrobial-chondroitin sulfate ophthalmic solution combined with manual debridement of nonadherent epithelium compares favorably with other published medical and surgical therapies for SCCED; however, these compounds are only equivocally more effective than therapy with manual debridement alone. These solutions appear to be ineffective in the treatment of ulcerative keratitis associated with bullous keratopathy.
The significance of the two cases of corneal stromal abscessation is unknown at this time and warrants further investigation.