Aptos (831) 685-3321 | Monterey (831) 655-4939
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Covid 19 Ophthalmology for Animals - March 18, 2020

The Health Officers of Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties are requiring people to stay home except for essential needs until April 8.  The elderly and those with underlying health conditions MUST STAY HOME.  This is a critical intervention to reduce harm from the spread of coronavirus in our community.  This is a mandatory order enforceable by a fine or jail.

It is our primary goal to keep your pet healthy.   Your health and our health depend on this.  In order to keep everyone safe we must enforce some rules.

  1. We are closed for routine and non-essential appointments.
  2. We are open for emergencies, urgent cases and medication refills.
  3. No person should enter the building. We will meet you at your vehicle to bring your pet into the clinic.
  4. Please call us when you are here.
  5. No waiting in reception.

Stay Safe!

Chronic Superficial Keratitis

pdfPDF version available for download here

CSK is a progressive, non-painful inflammatory disease of the cornea and conjunctiva. It affects primarily German Shepherds and German Shepherd crosses, but it has also been reported in other breeds (Siberian Husky, Scotch Collie, Greyhound, Labrador Retriever, Border Collie).

CSK is characterized by variable degrees of corneal vascularization, pigmentation, granulation tissue and cholesterol deposits (white opacities). The corneal changes usually begin at the lower lateral limbus. The disease is bilateral but not always symmetrical. Third eyelid involvement may occur with or without corneal involvement and is referred to as “atypical pannus” or “plasmoma.” The disease is progressive if not controlled with treatment, and can even lead to blindness. There is no cure, and lifelong treatment is necessary with control and vision retention being the goals of therapy.

The cause of CSK is not well understood, but it is known to have a heritable basis. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation plays an important role as an inciting and propagating factor. Dogs living at high altitudes and low latitudes are more severely affected. Flare-ups may be noted during spring months when the sun is closer to Earth. It is an autoimmune disease, meaning the dog’s ocular tissues are inappropriately targeted by the immune system.

The disease is controlled using immunomodulating (cyclosporine, tacrolimus) and anti-inflammatory (steroid or non-steroidal) medications. After disease remission, medications are tapered but never discontinued. Avoiding sunlight (i.e. afternoon shade) is recommended in affected dogs. Some dogs may also benefit from wearing UV-protective “doggles” when outside. Lifelong therapy is necessary, and in dogs diagnosed earlier in life (before 5 years of age) the disease may increase in severity over subsequent years and require more medications than the previous years.

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Request an appointment with one of our veterinarian specialists to see how we can help you and your beloved pet.

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