Author(s): Swinger RL, Schmidt KA Jr, Dubielzig RR. Keratoconjunctivitis associated with Toxoplasma gondii in a dog. Vet Ophthalmol. 2009 Jan-Feb;12(1):56-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-5224.2009.00675.x. PMID 19152600
A 12-year-old Pug presented with a 3-mm corneal mass OD. The dog was currently being treated for keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) and pigmentary keratitis OU. A superficial keratectomy followed by cryotherapy was performed OD. A histopathologic diagnosis of epithelial dysplasia and suppurative keratitis was made and the lesion resolved. Two months later, a yellow/tan conjunctival mass, diffuse chemosis and conjunctival thickening was discovered OD. Necrotizing conjunctivitis with protozoal parasites was diagnosed with histopathology. Complete blood count and a serum biochemistry panel were normal. Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii titers were negative. The conjunctivitis resolved after a 6-week course of oral clindamycin. Two months later, the patient presented with a similar conjunctival mass OS. Toxoplasma gondii was confirmed as the etiologic agent with immunohistochemical staining. Repeat T. gondii titers were negative. Oral clindamycin was re-instituted. The corneal biopsy was re-reviewed and protozoal organisms were discovered. Three months later, a recurrence was suspected and oral ponazuril was initiated for 28 days. There has been no evidence of recurrence since this treatment. Ocular toxoplasmosis is rare in the dog but reports have included episcleritis, scleritis, retinitis, anterior uveitis, ciliary epithelium hyperplasia, optic neuritis and polymyositis. To our knowledge, this is the first confirmed report of toxoplasmosis causing only corneal and conjunctival disease in the dog. We hypothesize that these localized lesions may be associated with topical immunomodulating therapy for KCS. Toxoplasmosis should be considered as a differential for canine conjunctivitis and corneal disease and has the potential to manifest in one or both eyes.