Pet Eye Disease: Corneal Sequestrum
Corneal sequestrum is a condition generally considered unique in the cat.
A corneal sequestrum is seen as a yellow to black colored plaque on the cornea, and represents dying or degenerating cornea. As the sequestrum progresses, the eye can become painful as the cornea ulcerates, and there is potential for the lesion to extend to the deeper layers of the cornea leading to rupture of the eye and infection.
The cause of corneal sequestrum is not always known. Infection with Feline Herpes Virus is a possibility. Some cat breeds such as Persians, Himalayans, and Chinchillas are prone to developing corneal sequestra--this may be due to having big bulgy eyes and reduced blinking. Chronic eye irritation can also lead to corneal sequestrum.
Treatment methods depend on how severe the lesion is. In early stages without discomfort or corneal ulceration, topical eyedrops and monitoring may be enough. But if the eye is painful or irritated, or if the sequestrum progresses into deeper layers of the cornea then surgery is required.
Surgery to remove corneal sequestra is very delicate, and needs to be done under general anaesthesia with an operating microscope. Depending on depth of the lesion, grafting procedures may also need to be performed after removal of the sequestrum.
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