Nonhealing ulcers on the eye’s surface, or cornea, are common in dogs—especially those with shortened faces and prominent eyes. But now help may be coming from an unlikely source — fish skin.
Tilapia [tĭ-LAH-pē-ah] skin, to be precise. It’s chock full of collagen that stimulates cell growth. Tilapia skin has already been studied in human and veterinary medicine, from bandaging burns to repairing heart valves and more.
Now, a veterinary ophthalmologist is studying its use to repair corneal lesions in dogs. She sutures a scaffolding matrix made of pure tilapia collagen over corneal lesions to promote cell regeneration. Over 400 dogs have healed quickly with minimal scarring.
Next, she plans to study the technique in cats — and humans, too.