What is a Grid Keratotomy?
A grid keratotomy is a surgical procedure involving the outer layer, known as the epithelium, and stroma, known as the thickest layer of the cornea. The procedure is minimally invasive and treats chronic ulcers on the surface of the dog’s eye.
The ulcers on the eye are rather painful and can change in size and shape over time. The purpose of the grid keratotomy is to stimulate the damaged outer layer of the eye to attach back to the eye and restore it back to its normal state.
What Does a Grid Keratotomy Treat in Dogs?
Chronic ulcers on the surface of the dog’s eye generally stem from physical trauma. The ulcers typically cause constant discharge and tearing from the eye as well as swollen redness. In some instances, topical and oral treatments may be used as the first route before a grid keratotomy is performed.
What Happens During a Grid Keratotomy?
Since a grid keratotomy is minimally invasive, general anesthesia is not required. In preparation for the procedure, your dog will be sedated and topical anesthesia will be applied using drops on the affected eye.
Once the patient is prepped, an eyelid speculum will be used to prevent the dog’s eyelids from moving. Any loose epithelium tissue will be removed utilizing a cotton swab against the surface of the eye. Your dog will be restricted in order to prevent any movement and a needle will be used to prick the eye. Using a 20 gauge needle, multiple pricks and scratches are made through the stroma, or the thickest layer of the cornea. These pricks and scratches stimulate the epithelium, or the eye’s outer layer, to heal by making it easier to reattach to the stroma.
How Much Does a Grid Keratotomy Cost?
A grid keratotomy can range anywhere from $500 up to $1,000. Since general anesthesia isn’t required, this helps to keep the cost down. However, it’s important to note that cost is also dependent upon follow-up visits and care necessary. In some cases, multiple procedures may need to be performed, increasing the overall cost of treatment.
How Can a Grid Keratotomy Be Prevented?
Unfortunately, some dogs are predisposed to chronic eye ulcers that lead to the need for a grid keratotomy. Boxers and other breeds of dogs who have bulging eyes are especially prone to eye ulcers and eye issues.
It’s also important to have your dog’s eye ulcer assessed sooner rather than later, which may prevent further issues from occurring.