Ocular complications from dentals procedures are not uncommon. Two recent cases presented at VOR sadly resulted in both patients losing an eye.
Globe perforation is a regular complication following upper molar/premolar tooth extractions and oral maxillary nerve blocks. This is more common in cats and small dogs. The sequelae include severe uveitis, bacterial endophthalmitis, permanent vision loss and often the loss of the eye. You can read more about these sequelae in Volk et al., Ophthalmic complications following ocular penetration during routine dentistry in 13 cats. N Z Vet J. 2019 Jan;67(1):46-51). This article is also the source of the above and below images.
So please, use extreme care with tooth root elevators and oral needles anywhere near the eye – there is often only millimeters to spare between your instrument and the globe in small patients and one slip or a misdirected instrument tip/needle can be disastrous!
If you are confronted with an ocular complication as a result of a dental procedure, please don’t hesitate to contact VOR for advice on management. Working together, we have the best chance of a favourable patient outcome in an eye-threatening situation.