Equine deep stromal abscesses (51 cases – 2004–2009) – Part 1: the clinical aspects with attention to the duration of the corneal disease, treatment history, clinical appearance, and microbiology results

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To study the equine deep stromal abscesses (DSA) with focus on the duration of the corneal disease, medical treatment, season of presentation, clinical appearance, and the degree of corneal vascularization.

Material and Methods

Equine DSA diagnosed, biopsied, and surgically treated at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center (UFVMC) from 2004 to 2009 were identified. The medical record, clinical photographic images, and microbiology results for each case were evaluated. Frequency and prevalence calculation as well as qualitative data analysis was performed for clinical and microbiological data.


Fifty-one equine DSA were included in the study. Spring (March, April, May; 33.4%) and winter (December, January, February; 31.4%) were the most common seasons for DSA presentation. The 51 cases were divided into four categories of focal opacity from their clinical appearance: focal yellow (45.2%), focal white (23.5%), diffuse yellow/white (23.5%), and focal pink (7.8%). 5.9% of the DSA (n = 3) were culture positive for fungal growth, whereas 17.6% were positive for bacterial growth (n = 9). No association between short-/long-term systemically administered NSAID treatment and the corneal vascular response to the corneal lesion could be appreciated.


Equine DSA most often present in the spring and winter in the subtropical environment of the state of Florida (USA). The clinical appearance may have a connection with the etiology and pathogenesis of the equine DSA. No connection between short- or long-term systemically administered NSAID and the degree of corneal vascularization of the DSA was noted.

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