Corneal stromal abscess in a captive Asian elephant: diagnosis and treatment regimes

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Suteeranan Pipitwanichtham
Patcharida Dittawong
Phawaran Meetipkit
Ratiwan Sitdhibutr
Nakrob Pattanapon
Manaporn Kasornsri
Kanittha Phetudomsinsuk
Nikorn Thongtip
Supaphen Sripiboon


Ocular injuries are often observed in elephants, most due to accidents. Diagnostic and treatment are challenging, as the elephants usually keep their eyes closed during examinations. This article describes the diagnosis and treatment regime of a juvenile captive female Asian elephant (Elephas maximus; approximately four years old) that showed signs of severe epiphora, blepharospasm, and corneal opacity in her left eye. Ophthalmic examination using a slit lamp and ocular ultrasonography revealed a corneal stromal abscess. Intensive treatment was performed, including administering intravenous antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs and an hourly eye topical treatment. The treatment regime was adjusted from time to time following the clinical signs and diagnostic results. The abscess was invisible within approximately five weeks (day 37). The treatment was continued until day 74 and then ceased. The eye recovered entirely, and only a small scar remained at the center.

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Pipitwanichtham, S., Dittawong, P., Meetipkit, P., Sitdhibutr, R., Pattanapon, N., Kasornsri, M., Phetudomsinsuk, K., Thongtip, N., & Sripiboon, S. (2023). Corneal stromal abscess in a captive Asian elephant: diagnosis and treatment regimes: Veterinary Integrative Sciences, 21(3), 693–703. Retrieved from
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