The cornea -- the transparent outer part of the eye --forms a cover over the iris and pupil. It also admits light to the inside of the eye. A corneal ulcer occurs when deeper layers of the cornea are lost; these ulcers are classified as superficial or deep.
The following breeds, all characterized by short noses and prominent eyes, are more likely to develop this problem.
Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough eye examination, including an inspection of the eye and cornea. Diagnostic fluorescein dyes are often used to look for corneal erosions or ulcers.
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Generally, antibiotic topical medications are used to treat or prevent eye infections. Pain medications may be needed for comfort. Buster collars ("cone") are often needed to prevent further eye damage caused by rubbing. If the ulcers are deep or are growing, surgery may be required. A common surgery is called a grid keratectomy during which the veterinarian may take a cotton swab and remove loose layers of the cornea to allow it to heal better.