Urrets-Zavalia syndrome following cataract surgery in dogs: A case series

Francisco Cantero, Marta Leiva*, Laura Gaztelu, Irene Cerrada, Rita Vilao Cardoso, Teresa Peña

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: In human medicine, Urrets-Zavalia syndrome (UZS) is a well-recognized but uncommon postoperative complication characterized by a fixed dilated pupil, accompanied by iris atrophy and glaucoma. Although it was originally reported in 1963 after penetrating keratoplasty surgery for keratoconus, it has been associated with various ophthalmic procedures such as cataract surgery. The condition has not been previously published in the veterinary literature. Case Description: Three client-owned diabetic dogs that developed UZS´s triad after cataract surgery are described. Despite uneventful phacoemulsification in the six eyes, five developed moderate-to-severe postoperative ocular hypertension. Although intraocular pressure (IOP) spikes were initially controlled, fixed dilated pupils accompanied by iris atrophy and chronic ocular hypertension were seen in the five affected eyes. Aggressive medical and surgical management maintained vision in three of those eyes. In one eye, uncontrolled IOP led to blindness. Conclusion: This is the first published description of UZS in dogs, occurring after phacoemulsification. Although no exact, demonstrable causative element could be determined, we believe that should be considered a triggering condition for this syndrome, as it directly affects the ocular blood flow autoregulation and intrinsic uveal tissue integrity. Until the contrary is proved, diabetes mellitus might be considered as a risk factor for developing this syndrome after cataract surgery in dogs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Veterinary Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2022


  • Iris atrophy
  • Mydriasis
  • Ocular hypertension
  • Phacoemulsification
  • Postoperative complication


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