Acute primary canine herpesvirus-1 dendritic ulcerative keratitis in an adult dog

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We present a report of dendritic ulcerative keratitis in a 4-year old locally immunosuppressed dog suspected to result from acute primary canine herpesvirus-1 (CHV-1) infection. The dog was presented for evaluation of mild blepharospasm and conjunctival hyperemia in the right eye (OD) shortly after attending a public boarding facility. For approximately 3 months, the dog had been receiving topical prednisolone acetate 1.0% and tacrolimus 0.02% in both eyes (OU) q12h for treatment of follicular conjunctivitis. Ophthalmic examination revealed three regions of corneal fluorescein retention OD. The lesions had a dendritic pattern, were approximately 2–3 mm in length, and were located at the dorsomedial, lateral, and ventromedial aspects of the cornea. No additional abnormalities were noted on complete ophthalmic and physical examinations. CHV-1 was identified in conjunctival samples OD by polymerase chain reaction, and paired CHV-1 serum virus neutralization antibody titers were positive and consistent with acute infection. Topical prednisolone acetate and tacrolimus were discontinued. The dog was treated with cidofovir 0.5% OU q12h for a period of 4 weeks, with resolution of corneal disease noted within 1 week of treatment. In conjunction with previous studies, this case report supports a central role for alterations in host immune status in the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of CHV-1 ocular disease in dogs.

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