‘Flat-faced’ dogs see more corneal ulcerative disease

New research reveals that brachycephalic dogs are most susceptible to corneal ulcerative disease.

The cornea is the outermost layer of the eye and must remain transparent to support vision. Ulcerated corneas can lose transparency and become particularly painful.

A VetCompass team explored the records of more than 100,000 dogs across England and found that brachycephalic breeds had more than 11 times the risk compared with nonbrachycephalics. The peculiar skull anatomy of the brachycephalic dogs with their large eyelid openings and protruding eyes might predispose their corneas to injury. Purebred dogs had over twice the risk compared with crossbred dogs. Spaniel breeds overall had over three times the risk compared with nonspaniels.

Almost one in every hundred dogs from the overall dog population will be affected with a corneal ulcer each year. The study also noted that, of the affected dogs, almost 60% will require pain relief and almost one in five will need surgery. Their corneal ulceration condition contributed to the deaths of more than one in ten of the dogs that died during the study.

Source: http://www.rvc.ac.uk/vetcompass/news/new-research-reveals-brachycephalic-dogs-are-most-susceptible-to-corneal-ulcerative-disease

Photo credit: © iStock/cynoclub

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