Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Eye: glaucoma

Synonym(s): Buphthalmia

Contributor(s): David L Williams, David Gould, Richard Saunders, Vetstream Ltd, Vicki Baldrey

Introduction

  • Glaucoma is a relatively common condition in the rabbit, being inherited as a recessive trait in the New Zealand White rabbit but also seen in several other breeds with New Zealand White in their pedigree.
  • Cause: hereditary, can occur secondary to uveitis if inflammatory debris blocks the iridocorneal drainage angle, may also occur secondary to intraocular neoplasia.
  • Signs: cloudy white cornea and blindness. Secodnary lens luxation may occur due to progressive globe enlargement. Secondary exposure keratitis may be seen. This may lead to corneal ulceration and globe rupture if severe.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, tonometry.
  • Treatment: topical anti-glaucoma medication, surgery.
  • Prognosis: poor.

Print off the Owner factsheet How to give eyedrops to your rabbit to give to your clients.

Presenting signs

  • Cloudy white cornea and blindness.
  • Unilateral or bilateral.

In the rabbit glaucoma does not generally present as a red eye as it does in the dog. This may be because the condition is chronic and manifests as gradual globe enlargement (buphthalmos) and not acute pain.

Morbidity

  • Age: ocular signs first occur at around 6 months of age.
  • Sex: there is no apparent sex predilection.
  • Breed: hereditary in New Zealand White New Zealand White, can occur in any breed.

Mortality

  • Not a fatal disease although bu homozygote and heterozygote litters may be smaller and individuals may not thrive.

Cost considerations

  • Inexpensive as generally no treatment is required.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Wagner F & Fehr M (2007) Common ophthalmic problems in pet rabbits. J Exotic Pet Med 16 (3), 158-167 VetMedResource.
  • Kern T J (1997) Rabbit and rodent ophthalmology. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med 6 (3), 138-145 ScienceDirect.
  • Bauck L (1989) Ophthalmic conditions in pet rabbits and rodents. Comp Contin Educ Pract Vet 11 (3), 258-261, 264-266 VetMedResource.
  • Tesluk G, Peiffer R L & Brown D (1982) A clinical and pathological study of inherited glaucoma in New Zealand white rabbits. Laboratory Animal 16 (3), 234-239 PubMed.
  • Vareilles P, Coquet P & Lotti V J (1980) Intraocular pressure responses to antiglaucoma agents in spontaneous buphthalmic rabbits. Ophthalmic Research 12, 2296-302 SemanticScholar.
  • Lee P (1968) Gonioscopic study of hereditary buphthalmia in rabbits. Arch Ophthalmol 79 (6), 775-778 PubMed.
  • McMaster P R B (1960) Decreased aqueous outflow in rabbits with hereditary buphthalmia. Arch Ophthalmol 64 (3), 388-391 ResearchGate.

Other sources of information

  • Knott T (2014) Ophthalmology. In: Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA. pp 232-254.
  • Varga M (2014) Ophthalmic Disease. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. pp 350-366.
  • Williams D (2012) The Rabbit eye. In: Ophthalmology of Exotic Pets. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester. pp 15-55.


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