Corneal Sequestrum in Cats

Corneal Sequestrum in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Corneal Sequestrum in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Corneal Sequestrum?

Persian, Himalayan, and Burmese breeds have a higher chance of developing this condition. However, male and female cats of all breeds and ages can develop corneal sequestration.

A corneal sequestrum is a piece of dead corneal tissue, which appears as a dark brown or black spot in the eye. The spot forms as a result of the deterioration of the stroma, the primary supportive layer of the cornea. Corneal sequestra may vary in size and shape, and may also cause ulcers. Chances of total vision loss – or, in severe cases, loss of the eye – are increased if the sequestrum is large and extends deep within corneal tissue.

Corneal Sequestrum Average Cost

From 585 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

Average Cost

$1,100

Symptoms of Corneal Sequestrum in Cats

Corneal sequestra should be treated as a veterinary emergency, as they can cause pain and loss of vision. Seek immediate veterinary attention if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Dark scab-like tissue in the eye
  • Rubbing at the eyes
  • Excess tear production
  • Signs of pain
  • Squinting
  • Discharge
  • The appearance of ulcers
  • Signs of impaired vision
  • Behavioral changes
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Causes of Corneal Sequestrum in Cats

The causes of corneal sequestrum in cats, while not fully understood, typically involve chronic corneal irritation. This may be attributed to trauma or dry eye syndrome. Corneal sequestrum may also be caused by the feline herpesvirus.

Genetics may play a role in the development of the condition. Brachycephalic breeds – characterized by their broad skull shapes – have a higher chance of developing corneal sequestrum due to congenital factors such as decreased tear production and corneal sensation.

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Diagnosis of Corneal Sequestrum in Cats

Your vet will make a tentative diagnosis based on a thorough physical examination, a complete medical history, and presentation of symptoms. Be sure to inform your vet of the extent and duration of your cat’s symptoms, as well as any previous eye conditions or traumatic injuries that you know of. Your vet can normally make a tentative diagnosis based on presentation of symptoms, particularly the presence of the dark spot on the cornea.

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Treatment of Corneal Sequestrum in Cats

In some mild cases, the eye may try to eject the sequestrum on its own, and drug therapy may be prescribed to assist in this process. However, corneal sequestrum treated solely with drug therapy has a higher chance of recurring, and will cause more pain and a prolonged recovery period for your cat.

While certain medications may help manage corneal sequestrum, surgery is usually favored as the most effective course of treatment. The surgical procedure is known as a keratectomy. Your cat will be placed under general anesthesia and the sequestrum removed using an operating microscope. Depending on the depth of the sequestrum, a graft of conjunctival tissue may also be applied over the surgery site to provide additional protection and assist healing. Corneal transplant may be recommended as an alternative to grafting.

Following surgery, your cat will be given an Elizabethan collar to prevent it from irritating the surgery site. Your vet will also prescribe an antibiotic ointment for up to ten days following surgery. If your cat has a decreased tear production, artificial tear supplements may be prescribed long-term. Pain management medications and oral antibiotics may also be prescribed. Your vet will be able to advise you on a treatment and recovery plan based on your cat’s specific needs.

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Worried about the cost of Corneal Sequestrum treatment?

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Recovery of Corneal Sequestrum in Cats

Recovery and prognosis will depend on the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of treatment. In most straightforward cases of corneal sequestrum in cats, keratectomy has a high success rate. Most cats make a full recovery within six months of treatment. The placement of a graft may slightly reduce your cat’s vision, but the vision of the affected eye typically remains functional. In fact, vision should improve following surgery.

Always follow your vet’s post-operative instructions carefully. It is imperative that you administer antibiotic medications for the entire recommended duration of treatment even if the condition starts to improve. Failure to do so could result in aggressive recurrence or loss of sight. Never use any eye drops or artificial tear supplements made exclusively for human use unless specifically instructed by your vet.

Ensure your cat has a warm, safe place to rest upon returning home. Your cat will be sore after the surgery, and may keep the affected eye partially or fully closed for a few days. This is normal. Keep the Elizabethan collar secured until the surgery site has completely healed. Your vet may recommend that you carefully clean the affected eye up to twice a day with a wet cotton ball.

Your vet may schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor your cat’s progress. If you have any questions regarding aftercare, ask your vet. If the sequestrum recurs, or if your cat sustains a new eye injury following treatment, contact your vet immediately.

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Corneal Sequestrum Average Cost

From 585 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

Average Cost

$1,100

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Corneal Sequestrum Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Sultan

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Persian

dog-age-icon

4 Years

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1 found helpful

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1 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Vomiting,Refusal To Eat,Incontinenc
Vomiting

My cat was operated for a corneal sequestrum on 16th of July. The surgeon just looked at the pictures and decided to operate on it. On the day of the surgery, she just looked at the eye under some light and a couple of hours later took him for sedation. The surgery lasted 1.5-2 hours and we were told the infection was very deep. A graft was placed, a collar was put and medications prescribed. However, he was unconscious for 2 hours after the surgery making it a total of 4 hours of unconsciousness. Post the surgery his trauma started as he wouldn't eat well right from the next day, started vomiting the day after, used to cry at night, the collar was visibly uncomfortable and he gradually left his food and continued vomiting. After 10 days of not eating properly and vomiting constantly, his blood tests were done which showed a high creatinine and BUN indicating kidney damage. Post which he was given saline daily and we were asked to force feed him renal food. Nothing seemed to help him really and finally on 6th of August, he passed away. The questions that are plaguing my mind are: 1- Was surgery really needed or some other line of treatment could have been tried first? 2- Was this much anesthesia required that he remained unconscious for such a long time? 3- What was the co-relation of the surgery with his kidneys getting affected considering that prior to surgery all his blood tests were normal? 4- Was giving saline the only option once Creatinine levels were high. We were asked to stop feeding him anything. Was that prudent? 5 - What could be the possible cause of his death? Please answer these to the best of your abilities. It would give us some closure. Thank You Sheeba

Aug. 11, 2018

Sultan's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

I'm sorry that happened to Sultan, that is very sad. To answer your questions, corneal sequestrums do often need to be surgically removed, as they tend to be bothersome and inflammatory. Corneal surgery is difficult, and can be lengthy and challenging - we will often refer that type of a surgery to a specialist, but some practitioners are comfortable performing corneal surgery. Anesthesia can be challenging for cats' kidneys, and that can be difficult to predict, although typically if we have normal blood work ahead of time we tend to feel comfortable with the anesthesia. Once kidney values have started to rise, IV fluid therapy is the cornerstone for therapy when trying to regain function. It seems that the surgery may have started the process with Sultan's kidneys, and the only thing that might have been controllable may have been whether he was on IV fluids and blood pressure monitoring during the procedure. Again, I am sorry for your loss.

Aug. 11, 2018

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B

dog-breed-icon

Himalayan

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Squinting Eye, Discharge In Eye

Our cat has a history of feline heroes virus in his eye passed down from his mother. He has had issues in past with his eyes so he was on a antiviral medication for a while but recently his eye has inflamed and the vet said he requires surgery to remove the sequestering. The quote we got from our vet on corneal sequesterum removal and hospitalization for our kitten is over $2400. Is this normal or can we find a better price ?

July 14, 2018

B's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

That is a fairly specialized procedure to remove a corneal sequestrum, and many veterinarians would refer to a specialist. Costs of procedures can vary by location, and it may be a good idea to get a second opinion to compare costs, but that is probably fairly reasonable for that level of surgery.

July 14, 2018

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Corneal Sequestrum Average Cost

From 585 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

Average Cost

$1,100

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