("Melting Cornea")

Corneal ulceration may arise secondary to a multitude of etiologies including conformational abnormalities, tear-film deficiencies (quantitative and/or qualitative), neurological dysfunction, trauma and/or microbial contamination. Tissue dissolution through the action of enzymatic proteases is a normal part of corneal metabolism as well as the healing and remodeling process, however, uncontrolled lysis or “melting” of corneal tissue as a result of excessive protease activity has the potential to result in significant pathology (*see also bullous keratopathy). Excessive enzymatic activity may stem from corneal or inflammatory cells as well pathological microorganisms. Affected tissue becomes edematous & soft, manifesting as corneal thickening and grey discoloration. An associated corneal vascular response may additionally be present. Keratomalacia is frequency complicated by severe secondary bacterial infection. Discomfort may be marked by blepharospasm &or mucoid ocular discharge. Commonly affected breeds include the Shi Tzu, Pug, Lassa Apso & Boston Terrier.