Corneal transplant following removal of a melanoma save Labrador’s vision

Davies Veterinary Specialists


14th October 2022

A young Labrador Retriever has had an eye-saving operation thanks to the ophthalmology teams at Davies and London Veterinary Specialists. The dog had a fast-growing melanoma successfully removed from her right eye, which was then repaired with a corneal grafting material.

Connie was referred to Linnaeus-owned London Vet Specialists with a raised, heavily pigmented growth in her right eye which, according to her owner, had been increasing in size rapidly over the past couple weeks.

“Ophthalmic examination confirmed a large melanocytic mass,” said Ioannis Tzouganakis, ophthalmologist at Davies and London Vet Specialists. “The mass measured approximately 10mm in diameter affecting the right sclero-corneal junction and extending over the cornea. Due to the rate at which it was growing we needed to perform surgery promptly to save Connie’s eye.”

Connie was admitted to Linnaeus-owned Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) in Hertfordshire the following day and underwent surgical removal of the mass affecting the slcera and cornea, followed by cryotherapy of the scleral site. The surgical defect was repaired using a corneal xenograft (BioCornea®) which was sutured to the adjacent tissue. Histopathological evaluation of the mass submitted, thankfully, confirmed a melanocytoma.

Connie was discharged two days later and is making excellent progress; the surgical wound has healed, and her vision is uncompromised.

Connie’s owner Pip Allen from London said: “Ioannis was completely professional, kind and caring from the start. From Connie’s first consultation Ioannis put me at ease (and Connie!) about the suggested procedure, what was going to happen, the likely outcome(s) and recovery period.

“Ioannis rang to tell me when he was starting the procedure and again as soon as he had finished to tell me how it had gone and he was always on the end of the phone/email to offer help and advice during her recovery. At her check-ups Connie was very happy to see Ioannis (treats and all!). He not only saved Connie’s eye, but also we honestly cannot tell that there has been such a huge surgical intervention. We will be forever grateful to Ioannis and his team at Davies. Fingers crossed, but if we had to do it all again, we would.”

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