Ocular dermoids in 13 cats: a multicentre retrospective study

J Feline Med Surg. 2022 Aug;24(8):745-753. doi: 10.1177/1098612X211043819. Epub 2021 Sep 14.


Objectives: The aim of this multicentre retrospective study was to review the clinical data, outcomes and histopathological features of cats that had been treated for ocular surface dermoids.

Methods: Thirteen cats from various private practices in France with a clinical diagnosis of ocular surface dermoid were included in the study.

Results: The mean age of the study population at the time of diagnosis was 5 months. There were nine males and four females. Three different breeds were domestic shorthair (n = 7), Birman (n = 4) and Havana Brown (n = 2). Two of the four Birmans were related (same sire). The two Havana Browns were also related (same sire). All of the dermoids were unilateral. Five of the dermoids were strictly conjunctival. Four affected both the conjunctiva and the cornea. Three affected both the conjunctiva and the eyelid, and one was strictly corneal. They were located in various positions: temporal (n = 9), inferonasal (n = 1), dorsonasal (n = 1) and dorsotemporal (n = 1). The last dermoid was heterogeneous and involved the nasal, dorsal and temporal quadrants. Concurrent eye diseases were observed in five patients: four cats exhibited associated eyelid agenesis and one cat exhibited persistent iris-to-iris pupillary membranes. Ten dermoids were surgically excised with no recurrences. Surgery was not performed for three cats: one cat died a few days after diagnosis and two cats were lost to follow-up after initial presentation.

Conclusions and relevance: Ocular surface dermoids are a rare condition in cats that can be treated successfully by surgical excision. Although our study reports only a small number of cases, the observation of ocular surface dermoids in two related cats in two different breeds indicates that genetic transmission is likely.

Keywords: Dermoid; choristoma; cornea; ocular surface.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases* / surgery
  • Cats
  • Conjunctiva / surgery
  • Dermoid Cyst* / pathology
  • Dermoid Cyst* / surgery
  • Dermoid Cyst* / veterinary
  • Eyelids / pathology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies