Corneal sequestrum occurs when the cat has dead corneal tissue (or dark spots in the cornea). It usually is caused by chronic corneal ulceration, trauma, or corneal exposure. Corneal sequestrum can affect all breeds, but is more prone in Persian and Himalayan breeds. In cats, it usually begins during their middle-aged years.
Symptoms and Types
The dark spots in your cat's cornea may remain unchanged for long periods of time, and then suddenly get worse. Listed below are some other symptoms your cat may experience:
The exact cause of the condition is unknown; however, the following is a list of potential risk factors:
Treatment will depend on the lesion's depth and the degree of ocular pain for your cat. The blemish may spontaneously separate itself from the surrounding tissue (slough), so timing is important. If you decide to wait to proceed with treatment, supportive care is necessary.
Your veterinarian may try to avoid surgery. If the pain persists for months, however, it could lead to corneal perforation. Therefore, some surgical options include:
Living and Management
If the corneal sequestrum is managed with medications, your pet will need to be examined weekly. This is to watch for complications, such as the lesion separating itself from the surrounding tissue. If your cat undergoes the keratectomy procedure, its eye should be re-evaluated every seven to ten days, or until the corneal defect has healed.
There is also a high probability that the condition may spread to the other eye. Cats which produce small amounts of tears, have thick lesions or those that do not have the pigmented corneal tissue removed, may also have recurring problems with this condition.