Management of corneal epithelial defects in a population of mature chuck-will’s-widows (Antrostomus carolinensis) in South Florida.

Publications // Richard Dubielzig // May 01 2020

PubMed ID: 32100932

Author(s): Overton TL, Swinger RL, Climans ME, Gardner AL, Grant AL, Schneider RM, Dubielzig RR, Teixeira LBC. Management of corneal epithelial defects in a population of mature chuck-will’s-widows (Antrostomus carolinensis) in South Florida. Vet Ophthalmol. 2020 May;23(3):567-574. doi: 10.1111/vop.12753. Epub 2020 Feb 26. PMID 32100932

Journal: Veterinary Ophthalmology, Volume 23, Issue 3, May 2020

PURPOSE To describe ocular clinical findings, gross/histopathologic findings, and treatment regimens in a series of migratory chuck-will’s-widows (Antrostomus carolinensis) (CWW) with corneal epithelial defects.

METHODS Seven CWW were presented to the South Florida Wildlife Center (SFWC). Four presented with bilateral (OU) corneal ulceration; two developed corneal ulceration OU; one had no ocular lesions. Treatment protocols for patients with corneal ulcers included the following: medical therapy only or medical therapy combined with an additional procedure. Four patients including the bird with no ocular lesions were euthanized, and one patient died. Their globes were submitted for histopathology. Two patients were released.

RESULTS Clinical findings prior to enucleation included superficial corneal ulceration with redundant epithelium persisting weeks to >1 month. On histopathology, epithelium in nonulcerated globes was remarkably thin; this was considered normal. Common histopathologic findings of ulcerated globes revealed epithelial and conjunctival attenuation with an acellular superficial stromal layer and hypercellular mid-stromal layer. One globe healed with medical therapy and cotton tip applicator debridement. Four globes healed by combination of medical therapy, equine amnion, nictitating membrane (NM) flap, and temporary tarsorrhaphy. No globes healed with diamond burr debridement or grid keratotomy.

CONCLUSIONS Factors that may be contributing to these corneal epithelial defects include, but are not limited to, normally thin epithelium, exposure keratopathy, neurotrophic disease, epithelial turnover and inadequate stem cell recruitment, inherited/genetic causes, and unidentified infectious agents (eg, viral etiologies). Of the 12 eyes treated, one healed with medical therapy/cotton tip applicator debridement, and four healed with medical therapy/equine amnion/nictitating membrane flap/temporary tarsorrhaphy.

© 2020 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.