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Nellie is a 9 year old Boston Terrier who came to see us back in September for some eye issues. Nellie’s people noticed her squinting and her eye seemed swollen and watery. Upon exam Dr. Pomanti chose to stain the eye to see if there was any type of damage. The stain came back positive and she diagnosed Nellie with a corneal ulcer – a painful open sore on the clear front surface of the eye that can cause loss of vision and even blindness.

Nellie was placed on a triple antibiotic cream and also some pain medication to keep her comfortable. Nellie was rechecked 2 weeks later only to report her eye was not much better. At this time, Dr. Sam Yoder changed Nellie’s medication to something a bit stronger and scheduled her to comeback a week later to see if there was any improvement.

Unfortunately, Nellie’s improvement was not as significant as we hoped it would be. In cases like these, when the ulcer doesn’t clear up with medication, the next step is a surgical procedure called a Conjunctival Flap surgery, or graft procedure. Conjunctival flap grafting is one option for the treatment of deep corneal ulcers. The conjunctiva is the pale pink tissue that covers the “white” of your pet’s eye. It is a thin and strong tissue which contains many blood vessels. These qualities make it an ideal tissue for grafting purposes.

Conjunctival flap or grafting surgery is performed under general anesthesia. We utilize the latest in surgical equipment and techniques to relocate a portion of your pet’s conjunctival tissue to cover the corneal ulcer. It is stitched in place using specialized dissolvable suture material. To add support to the graft during healing, a stitch is placed to hold the eyelid partially closed. Dr. Coughlin performed Nellie’s Conjunctival Flap surgery on October 15th, since then, she is much more comfortable and her eye is healing!

The picture below is an image of Nellie’s eye after it was stained. The green “spot” on her eye is showing where the ulcer is.

Nellie’s eye after it was stained