Mycotic Keratitis

Last time I was talking about my pasture buddy’s eye and the fact that she had Mycotic Keratitis, a fungal infection accompanied by corneal inflammation, also referred to as Keratomycosis. Since then, I had my little feline friend, Chewbakka, do a little research on this condition, since I have been really worried about Ziggy and the possibility of her losing sight in her affected eye. In a nutshell, this is what he found:

Mycotic Keratitis is a serious eye disease in horses, the treatment of which can be both challenging and frustrating. Caused by fungal pathogens that invade the corneal tissue either through trauma or a preexisting bacterial infection, the signs include: spasmodic blinking of the eyelids (blepharospasm), contraction of the eye’s pupil (miosis), watering of the eyes (epiphora), and painful sensitivity to light (photophobia). Mycotic Keratitis is treated using topical antifungal ophthalmic ointments like Natamycin, Miconazole and Itraconazole. Atropine is also used to maintain pupil dilation thus preventing the formation of adhesions of the iris to the cornea. Successful therapy often requires six to eight weeks of intensive, and often expensive, treatment. Commonly, 50% of affected eyes will retain acceptable vision.

Ziggy has been treated now for about three weeks, so she still has a way to go. Dr L. came out yesterday to check on her, and he seemed pleased with her progress. Ziggy is now resigned to the fact that our mistress will be putting ointment in her eye twice a day (she refers to it as “gunk”) for another five weeks. She just wishes the sunlight didn’t hurt so much. I told her she should wear the fly mask that our mistress modified for her so it would filter more sunlight, but Ziggy claims it itches and she has gotten very adept at removing it.

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