Superficial keratectomy for chronic corneal ulcers refractory to medical treatment in 36 cats




To review the outcome of a case series in which superficial keratectomy was used as a treatment for chronic corneal ulceration.

Study design

Retrospective study

Animals studied

Thirty-six cats (41 eyes) with ulcerative keratitis.


Forty-one superficial lamellar keratectomies were performed. Thirty-two and a half percent (32.5%) of the ulcers were resolved within 2 weeks and 85% within 4 weeks after surgery. Nonhealing surgical cases after 4 weeks (13% of the eyes) resolved with prolonged postoperative medical treatment. The mean time to healing was 22.1 days (range 7–74 days). At the end of the follow-up period (mean 8.9 months, range 1–36 months), 82.5% of eyes had regained very good to excellent corneal transparency. Nine cases relapsed (21.9% of the eyes) after surgery. Of those cases, the cornea of eight cats healed after undergoing medical treatment, and one underwent a second limited superficial lamellar keratectomy.


Superficial keratectomy in cats is an effective treatment to resolve chronic ulcerative keratitis refractory to medical treatment.