Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of and risk factors for development of corneal ulcers after nonocular surgery performed with general anesthesia in dogs.
Design: Retrospective case-control study.
Animals: 14 dogs with development of corneal ulcers after nonocular surgery and 718 control dogs.
Procedures: Medical records of dogs evaluated at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital of Seoul National University from January 2009 to June 2011 were reviewed for assessment of risk factors for development of corneal ulcers.
Results: Among the 732 reviewed cases, 14 (1.9%) dogs of 6 breeds developed a corneal ulcer after nonocular surgery. Duration of anesthesia was significantly longer in dogs with ulcers than dogs without ulcers. The number of medications received and procedures performed were also significantly higher in dogs with ulcers than dogs without ulcers. Dogs with a small skull (OR, 8.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04 to 70.90) and dogs that received neurosurgery (OR, 21.12; 95% CI, 5.77 to 77.25) were more susceptible to development of corneal ulcers. Also, postoperative application of a fentanyl patch was a risk factor for development of corneal ulcers (OR, 4.53; 95% CI, 1.05 to 19.60).
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Several risk factors were identified for development of corneal ulcers after nonocular surgery was performed with general anesthesia in dogs. Perioperative eye protection strategies and postoperative ophthalmic examination are needed to reduce the occurrence of corneal ulcers and their progression, especially for high-risk dogs and procedures.