Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where's the Eye???

Sometimes an animal is born without a body part or one that simply never fully develops. 

A stray kitten someone brought in had an eye socket that seemed to be empty. The kitten was otherwise ok. She did have discharge from that eye. What she had was actually "microphthalmia" or a very tiny eyeball! If we didn't take it out and close it up permanently, she would have chronic discharge from that eye. . Of course, she wasn't seeing out of that side anyhow.

So we took her to surgery the other day (to do what we call an enucleation)  and this is what we got out:

It was a little challenging because of her small size AND because of this little eye being sunken pretty far back in.  We remove the eyelids so we can suture skin to skin and it will heal beautifully! 

One caveat with that - if the entire eyelid is not removed and there remains even a small fragment (tends to happen near the corner of the eye close to the nose or the nasal canthus area), there will not be complete sealing of the incision and the cat can present years later with chronic eye discharge, requiring a second surgery to correct this. 

Once she has hair regrowth over the area, no one will ever notice. This is her post-op (wishing I had taken one pre op but I admit to simply over looking that!).

The eye we did surgery on is on the right hand side of picture. Her tortoiseshell coloring makes it hard to get good contrast. 
She needs a home too! 

This is something we see here and there. Not a rarity but certainly not an every month event even in a busy practice. 

The site below has some pictures of kittens with this condition and a few other interesting things as well. 

Kitties with Eye Problems

Update on the kitten from Monday's post. She came in the next day, not doing so well - low blood sugar and low body temp. Tuesday, she was up and down all day - crash, be ok, seem to rally, seem bad again, etc. A staff member took her home and she did ok through the night with a few scares. Today she spent most of the day not doing well despite very attentive nursing care. She ended up dying and only late in the day did we know why. She did have a moderate flea anemia on Monday. However, she had diarrhea today and given her other signs, we confirmed a diagnosis of panleukopenia (where all the white blood cells get wiped out) - a nasty viral infection of kitties - it's the feline version of parvo. Kittens this small/weak do not survive. This is something highly contagious and is one of the core vaccines we recommend to all kitties! This girl was too young to have been vaccinated.  Sad :(

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