Grid keratotomy as a treatment for superficial nonhealing corneal ulcers

A. Brünott, * M.H. Boevé † and M.A. van der Velden *

Departments of Equine Sciences and Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals
Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands


To describe the clinical symptoms of 10 cases of superficial nonhealing corneal ulcers in horses and to evaluate the results of grid keratotomy in these patients.


Ten horses with superficial nonhealing corneal ulceration in one eye.


The signalment, history and clinical symptoms are reported of 10 patients with superficial nonhealing corneal ulcers during the period from August 2003 to February 2005. Grid keratotomy was performed in all cases. In addition, the surgical procedure of grid keratotomy and response to therapy are described.


Horses generally responded well to grid keratotomy (eight cases healed after one grid keratotomy and one horse healed after a second grid keratotomy; one case was not available for follow-up). Only 2/10 had discomfort after treatment and only 2/9 had some degree of scarring after treatment. The healing time, which was known in seven cases, averaged 8.4 days (± SD 4).

Conclusions and clinical relevance

Grid keratotomy is an appropriate option for treatment of superficial nonhealing corneal ulcers in horses. The procedure is simple to perform. It generally induces a rapid and uncomplicated healing of the cornea. Only in a limited number of cases does a small amount of scarring occur.