Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Subconjunctival injection

Contributor(s): Ash Phipps , James Breen

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Introduction

  • Subconjunctival injections are another means of achieving high therapeutic levels of drugs in the cornea, sclera and anterior segment of the orbit.
  • This is particularly important in the emergency management of acute infection or inflammation of the orbit.
  • Placing injections subconjunctivally bypasses the lipid layers of the bulbar conjunctiva and places the drugs adjacent to the water-permeable sclera, increasing water-soluble drug penetration into the eye.
  • Local deposition allows for the leakage and therefore, corneal penetration.

Uses

  • To achieve high corneal and intra-ocular levels of drugs for short periods.
  • Administration of drugs that penetrate the cornea poorly (antibiotics) or have slow absorption characteristics (corticosteroids).
  • When topical medication cannot be administered, or only infrequently.
  • Infrequent yarding of an animal is only possible.

Advantages

  • Markedly increased penetration of water soluble drugs.
  • Short term high concentrations of drugs in cornea and anterior segment.
  • Supplement to topical therapy.

Disadvantages

  • Local irritation, residues, necrosis and granuloma formation can occur at the site of injection.
  • Once injected the drug(s) cannot be removed.
  • Temporary pain at site of injection.
  • Injection is quite difficult with potential for injury to eye.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • This will be dependent on the underlying condition and the response to therapy.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Townsend W M (2010) Examination techniques and therapeutic regimens for the ruminant and camelid eye. Veterinary clinics of North America: food animal practice 26 (3), 437-458 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Maggs D J, Miller P & Ofri R (2012) Slatter's fundamentals of veterinary ophthalmology. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp 32.
  • Peiffer R & Petersen-Jones S (1997) Small Animal Ophthalmology: A problem orientated approach. 2nd edn. W B Saunders Company LTD. London, NW1 7DX, UK. pp 29-30.
  • Sinclair J, Abeynayake P & Steffert I J (1981) Technique for subconjunctival injections of antibiotic for the treatment of bovine infectious keratitis. In: Proceedings of the Society of Sheep and Beef Cattle Veterinarians of the New Zealand Veterinary Association.


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