Our two-year-old poodle, Willie, has an ulcer in his eye. We have some medication from our veterinarian, but can you tell us a little about what may have caused the problem?
A corneal ulcer occurs when the outer layers of the outer clear structure of the eye (the cornea) are damaged. There are many possible causes of corneal ulcers including injuries, infections with bacteria, viruses and fungi, chemicals, abnormal tear production and eyelash disorders. Many times it is difficult to determine the cause.
Treatment for corneal ulcers is directed towards eliminating the cause and preventing infections. If the ulcer recurs in Willie, a young dog, it would be important to search for eyelid and eyelash disorders including a rolled-in eyelid (entropion), abnormal eyelash disorders (distichiasis and ectopic cilia), or birth defects of the cornea such as corneal dystrophy. Willie should also have a Schirmer tear test to be sure he doesn't have abnormally low tear production. If the ulcer never recurs, we may never know the original cause of the corneal ulcer.