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Corneal Ulcer in Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $1,500 to $2,000 per eye

What it is: Also called ulcerative keratitis, a corneal ulcer occurs when deep layers of the cornea are lost or eroded. The most common cause is injury or trauma to the eye, but the condition can also stem from an infection, disease, tear deficiency or paralysis of a facial nerve.


  • Painful, red or watery eye
  • Squinting or light sensitivity
  • Eye that remains closed
  • Film over the eye
  • Discharge
  • Pawing or rubbing at eyes

Treatment: Most likely to include antibiotics for the prevention of infections and pain reliever for comfort. Surgery may be required for deeper ulcers, but corneal ulcers that are more superficial will take a week or more to heal.

Pet insurance typically covers the cost of surgery from injuries, and many also cover treatment if the condition stemmed from infection or disease.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

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