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Corneal Ulcer

A corneal ulcer is an erosion on the eye. They can be caused by injury or a virus - in cats, typically the feline herpes virus. We have seen a number of cases caused by a viral infection, particularly in kittens.

The best treatment we have found is a Chinese herbal formula called Bo Yun Sun, a powder that is blown or sprinkled onto the animal's eye (we dip a q-tip in the powder, then tap it lightly over the eye to get the powder onto eye). To get this powder, you will need to contact a holistic veterinarian who is familiar with chinese herbal remedies.

The original formula for Bo Yun contained an ingredient called cinnabar. Cinnabar has recently been banned by the FDA because they consider it toxic when ingested - at doses much higher than what is in the Bo Yun formula. Bo Yun San is not ingested, but applied topically. Because of the ban, the Bo Yun San that is available lacks this ingredient. Sadly, the cinnabar seems to be the main ingredient for healing, so the new formula does not work as well for treating corneal ulcers. We have some of both on hand, and there is a major difference in the results. The new formula of Bo Yun San still seems to work better than antibiotics, but it is nowhere near as effective as the old formula.

Note - putting any kind of medication into the eye may burn or cause discomfort for a moment. You may need to hold or distract your pet so they don't wipe at the eye.

Below are some photos from our first case of a corneal ulcer. Lola was brought to us by someone who found her in terrible condition. It was difficult to guess her age, but her head was about the size of a typical 8 week old, while her body was only about the size of a 4 week old. She was dehydrated and starving, her eyes were crusted and swollen shut, and she had an upper respiratory infection. We cleaned her up and got her eyes lids open, only to find that her eyes were severely ulcerated. Our holistic veterinarian brought us the Bo Yun San (original formula) to try. Within a couple of days, we could actually see her eyes. After a week, the swelling was down. A couple of weeks later, she seemed to be able to see clearly. Her eyes healed within a couple of months. One pupil was left slightly distorted, but it doesn't seem to bother her at all.

Lola - after trying to clean her up
2 days
2 days after start of treatment - her eyes are finally visible
1 week
1 week after start of treatment - she is able to see
2 months
2 months after start of treatment, treatment is complete
6 months
4 months after end of treatment