In dogs with uncomplicated corneal ulcers, do antibacterial eye drops reduce the risk of infection?
a Knowledge Summary by
Sery Johnson BS 1*
Wanda J Gordon-Evans DVM PhD DACVS DACVSMR 1
1University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, 1365 Gortner Ave, St Paul, MN 55108, USA
*Corresponding Author (email@example.com)
Vol 6, Issue 4 (2021)
Published: 17 Nov 2021
Reviewed by: Kazuya Oikawa (BVSc PhD) and Constance Neville White (DVM PhD)
Next review date: 07 Dec 2022
You are presented with a 4 year old, female spayed dog of mixed breed with an acute onset of epiphora and blepharospasm of the right eye. Ocular exam and fluorescein staining reveal a superficial corneal ulcer, which has not received any treatment prior to diagnosis. The dog’s owner has already spent more money than she would like just for the exam and wants to know whether the recommended antibacterial drops are necessary.
There was no peer-reviewed evidence that met the inclusion criteria to summarise.
Appraisal, application and reflection
In dogs with uncomplicated corneal ulcers, the administration of prophylactic topical ophthalmic antibacterials is well documented and recommended in textbooks on veterinary ophthalmology as the standard of care (Maggs et al., 2018); for the purpose of this Knowledge Summary, an uncomplicated corneal ulcer was defined as a new onset superficial corneal ulcer. Despite this recommendation, there have been no studies to demonstrate a significant difference in infection rates in affected dogs receiving prophylactic topical ophthalmic antibacterials compared to dogs that do not. However, the potential negative impacts of not treating uncomplicated corneal ulcers with topical ophthalmic antibacterials could be significant, possibly resulting in secondary ocular infections, melting deep corneal ulcers, and may eventually lead to loss of vision or loss of the eye. Therefore, unless robust evidence is established to refute the current dogma, it is recommended that practitioners continue to uphold the current standard of care.
|Databases searched and dates covered:||PubMed on NCBI Platform; 1950–2020
CAB Abstracts on OVID Platform; 1973–2020
|Search strategy:||CAB Abstracts and PubMed:
((dogs) AND (((corneal ulcer) OR (keratitis)) OR (corneal abrasion))) AND ((((treatment) OR (therapy)) OR (ophthalmic solutions)) OR (antibiotic))
|Dates searches performed:||07 Dec 2020|
|Exclusion / Inclusion Criteria|
|Exclusion:||Articles not available in English, clinical review articles, book chapters, articles not available for review|
|Inclusion:||Articles relevant to the PICO (involving uncomplicated corneal ulcers that were treated to resolution)|
Number of results
Excluded – Did not address the PICO
Excluded – Not English language
Excluded – Non-canine
Total relevant papers
Total relevant papers when duplicates removed
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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