DOI: 10.1097/ico.0000000000003523 ISSN: 0277-3740

Development of Crystalline Corneal Opacities (Steroid Keratopathy) in Dogs After Treatment With Ophthalmic Corticosteroids

Katelin R. Quantz, Kamontip K. Jongnarangsin, Christine D. Harman, Kristin L. Koehl, Amanda L. Jacobson, Nambi Nallasamy, Gillian C. Shaw, Christopher G. Pirie, András M. Komáromy
  • Ophthalmology


To retrospectively evaluate and describe the relationship between the use of topical corticosteroids and the development of crystalline corneal opacities (steroid keratopathy) in a colony of research Beagles and Beagle-derived dogs.


Medical records of 73 purpose-bred Beagles and Beagle-derived dogs were reviewed from June 2012 to May 2021. All dogs were treated with topical ophthalmic corticosteroids for at least 21 days. In addition to regular ophthalmic examination, some dogs also had a systemic lipid profile (n = 6) performed to work up further and characterize the crystalline corneal opacities. Globes of 3 dogs were examined histopathologically.


Axial stromal crystalline corneal opacities were appreciated in 25 eyes of 14 dogs after a median of 141 days after initiating treatment (35–396 days). Multiple corticosteroids were used, including neomycin-polymyxin b-dexamethasone 0.1% ophthalmic ointment, prednisolone acetate 1% ophthalmic suspension, and difluprednate 0.05% ophthalmic emulsion (Durezol). Resolution of corneal opacity was documented in 4 of 25 eyes when ophthalmic corticosteroids were discontinued after a median of 406.5 days (271–416 days). Histopathologic examination revealed a dense band of acellular material, poorly staining with periodic acid–Schiff, subtending the corneal epithelium, and being surrounded by spindle cells.


This case series documents the onset of steroid keratopathy in Beagles and Beagle-derived dogs after treatment with ophthalmic corticosteroids. Clinical resolution of steroid keratopathy lesions may be possible after discontinuation of ophthalmic corticosteroids.

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