cocker.gif (10105 bytes)Corneal Dystrophy

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Corneal dystrophy is an inherited condition resulting in corneal opacities in both eyes. They are usually symmetrical being in similar locations in each eye. The opaque areas generally contain fatty deposits. Most dogs with corneal dystrophy are six months of age and older. Different types of corneal dystrophies are seen based on the location of the fatty deposits within the cornea. Breeds most affected appear to be Airedale Terriers and Shetland Sheepdogs.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms are opaque (whitish) areas located within the normally clear cornea. In more severe cases the entire cornea may appear hazy or bluish.

What are the risks?

Many lesions are progressive, starting out small and eventually occupying most of the corneal surface. Vision may become much impaired with ulcerations of the cornea developing over the areas with fatty deposits.

What is the management?

There currently is no effective treatment for corneal dystrophy.


Race Foster, DVM and Marty Smith, DVM
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

2000 Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from (
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