• canine;
  • limbal;
  • melanoma;
  • ocular;
  • sclerokeratoplasty;
  • tumor


Objective  The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy, outcome, and complications following penetrating sclerokeratoplasty and frozen homologous corneoscleral grafting for the management of extensive canine epibulbar melanocytomas.

Methods  Medical records of canine patients treated at three different veterinary hospitals between 1999 and 2010 were reviewed. Signalment, location and extent of melanocytomas, recurrence rate, and early and late complications were reported. Patients were re-examined postoperatively to provide follow-up information.

Results  Patients included one intact male, three castrated males, six intact females, and one spayed female, with a median age of 5 years (range, 3–9). German Shepherds were overrepresented. Tumors extended from 2 to 4 clock hours at the limbus and up to 17 mm from clear cornea to globe equator. One case showed iridocorneal angle invasion; corneal involvement was present in all cases, and lipid keratopathy was present in four cases. In two cases, there was incomplete resection owing to tumor extent. Follow-up time ranged from 3 to 72 months (median, 17 months), with one case of intraocular tumor progression. Early complications included anterior uveitis (11/11), intracameral fibrin (5/11), hyphema (4/11), corneal edema (4/11), exuberant corneal granulation tissue (2/11), focal retinal edema (1/11), dyscoria (1/11), and partial suture dehiscence (1/11). Late complications included corneal fibrosis and/or pigmentation (11/11), faint anterior cortical cataracts (3/11), and lipid keratopathy (1/11). Vision was retained in all cases.

Conclusions  This technique offers a surgically challenging but effective treatment for extensive epibulbar melanocytomas. In this case series, complications were mild and transient, with preservation of ocular anatomy and function.