The cornea — that is, the clear surface on the front of the eye — often gets damaged when animals suffer trauma. Corneal damage can progress rapidly, causing more invasive disease that may result in loss of the eye. That’s why veterinary ophthalmologists are always looking for ways to manage corneal injuries.
Recently, a technique called corneal crosslinking has been borrowed from human medicine. Drops containing riboflavin, a type of vitamin B, are applied to the eye, then the corneal surface is exposed to ultraviolet light. This process stimulates crosslinking of corneal proteins, thus strengthening the eye’s surface.
Crosslinking has already been used in dogs and horses, where it has accelerated corneal healing and shortened treatment protocols. From our point of view, that looks like a clear advantage.