00985-A: In vivo Effects of Tetracycline on Canine Refractory Ulcers

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,707
Heather Chandler, PhD; Ohio State University
April 1, 2007 - September 30, 2008


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Ophthalmology
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Project Summary

Currently, there are no well-established consistently effective treatments for canine refractory ulcers. Anecdotal evidence as well as investigations in human corneal wound healing, suggests an improved rate of healing during tetracycline treatment. To date, there have been no prospective studies that critically evaluate the effectiveness of tetracycline in canine refractory ulcers. We have thoroughly evaluated the effects of tetracycline on canine corneal epithelial cell migration in vitro. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of tetracycline treatment in increasing the rate of corneal re-epithelialization in clinical canine patients with refractory ulcers. This provided rigorous clinical evidence of the effectiveness of tetracycline treatments in canine refractory ulcers, thus identifying a successful treatment for this disease. Client-owned patients affected with refractory ulcers were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. Treatment A was topical tetracycline, Treatment B was oral tetracycline, and Treatment C was a placebo. The rate of corneal wound healing was monitored over time and compared between the treatments. Analysis of our data indicates that topical tetracycline is an effective treatment for canine refractive ulcers. Dogs treated with topical tetracycline had a significant improvement in wound healing compared to the placebo. Oral tetracycline also improved corneal re-epithelialization compared to the placebo, but the improvement was not statistically significant. The majority of ulcers treated with tetracycline healed at a faster rate when compared to the placebo treated ulcers. The significance of this research involves improving healing time and overall comfort in dogs affected by refractory ulcers. Tetracycline can provide a safe, reliable, and cost effective treatment for this disease. Results from this study will allow clinicians to treat refractory ulcers more efficiently and safely.


Chandler, H. L., Gemensky-Metzler, A. J., Bras, I. D., Robbin-Webb, T. E., Saville, W. J. A., & Colitz, C. M. H. (2010). In vivo effects of adjunctive tetracycline treatment on refractory corneal ulcers in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 237(4), 378–386. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.237.4.378

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