Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Eye: exophthalmos

Synonym(s): Proptosis, Exophthalmia, Buphthalmia (this term refers to enlarged eye due to glaucoma, esp. in young rabbits)

Contributor(s): Anna Meredith, Livia Benato, Vladimir Jekl

Introduction

  • Cause: stress (including fear), retrobulbar abscess secondary to dental disease, retrobulbar tumor, retrobulbar fat prolapse, compression of the right and left cranial vena cava (cranial vena cava/caval syndrome; mostly due to mediastinal tumors, eg thymona), glaucoma, orbital cellulitis Cellulitis, salivary mucocoele, Coenurus serialiscyst, trauma, hemorrhage, teratogenic effect of cyclophosphamide treatment, intraocular tumor.
  • Signs: unilateral or bilateral protrusion of the eye.
  • Diagnosis: clinical examination, ophthalmic examination, radiographic examination, ultrasonography, ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirates, computed tomography, MRI, tonometry.
  • Treatment: depends on cause.
  • Prognosis: from good to poor, depending on cause.

Presenting signs

  • Unilateral or bilateral bulging of the eye.

Geographic incidence

  • Worldwide.

Age predisposition

  • In older rabbits is a higher prevalence of mediastinal masses - cranial vena cava syndrome and retrobulbar odontogenic abscesses.
  • Young rabbits - in case of congenital glaucoma.

Sex predisposition

  • The eyes of entire males during the breeding season can bulge as a normal phenomenon due to the enlargement of the deep gland of the third eyelid during the breeding season.

Breed predisposition

Cost considerations

  • Depends on cause.

Special risks

  • Herein case of ophthalmic surgery, eg enucleation, to prevent oculocardiac reflex, the use of preanesthetics as glycopyrrolate or atropine is recommended.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Bedard K M (2019) Ocular Surface Disease of Rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 22 (1), 1-14 PubMed.
  • van Zeeland Y (2017) Rabbit Oncology: Diseases, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 20 (1), 135-182 PubMed.
  • Hittmair K M, Tichy A, Nell B (2014) Ultrasonography of the Harderian gland in the rabbit, guinea pig, and chinchilla. Vet Ophthalmol 17 (3), 175-83 PubMed.
  • Zhang H, Yang D, Ross C M et al (2014) Validation of rebound tonometry for intraocular pressure measurement in the rabbit. Exp Eye Res 121, 86-93 PubMed.
  • Wagner F, Beinecke A, Fehr M et al (2005) Recurrent bilateral exophthalmos associated with metastatic thymic carcinoma in a pet rabbit. JSAP 46 (8), 393-397 PubMed.
  • O'Reilly A, McCowan C, Hardman C et al (2002) Taenia serialis causing exophthalmos in a pet rabbit. Vet Ophthalmol 5 (3), 227-230 PubMed.
  • Ujházy E, Balonová T, Durisová M et al (1993) Terotegenicity of cyclophosphamide in New Zealand white rabbits. Neoplasma 40 (1), 45-49 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Varga M (2014) Ophthalmic Diseases. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd ed. Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier, UK.
  • Van der Woerdt (2012) Ophthalmologic diseases in Small Pet Mammals. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. 3rd edn. Saunders. pp 523-531.
  • Williams D (2012) The Rabbit Eye. In: Ophthalmology of Exotic Pets. Ed. William D. Blackwell Publishing, USA. pp 15-55.
  • Lipman N S, Marini R P, Flecknell P A (2008) Anesthesia and Analgesia in Rabbits. In: Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals. 2 edn Fish ER, Brown M J, Danneman P J, Karas A Z.Academic Press, Elsevier, London. pp. 299-334.


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