A Clinical Case from the Archives : 08/11/2004

What is this black lesion in this domestic short-haired cat’s eye? What might have caused it? It is irritating the cat somewhat; how would you treat it?

The lesion is a corneal sequestrum, seen only in the cat, and representing a stromal necrosis. The lesion might well be seen as a final common pathway for a number of corneal conditions; in Persian and Colourpoint breeds it occurs probably associated with corneal anaesthesia seen in these breeds; in domestic short-haired cats it can be associated with feline herpesvirus. Treatment is surgical with removal of diseased tissue by a superficial keratectomy. The lesion can slough naturally but early surgery is probably to be advised; leaving it too long can result in a very deep lesion as seen here, where removal of the superficial layers still leaves diseased tissue. A full thickness graft or deep lamellar keraectomy with tectonic graft are the only surgical options.


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