Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Eyelid: blepharitis

Contributor(s): David L Williams, David Gould, Joanna Hedley, Vetstream Ltd, Vladimir Jekl

Introduction

  • Cause:
    • Two main primary etiologies are myxomatosis, leporipoxvirus and rabbit syphilis (Treponema paraluis cuniculi).
    • Secondary to keratoconjuctivitis, dacryocystitis, foreign body, eye-lid traumatic injury and entropion.
  • Signs: eyelid skin thickening and inflammation (edema, hyperemia). Epiphora can be present.
  • Diagnosis: history, signs, skin scrape or punch biopsy, bacteriological culture and sensitivity, histopathology.
  • Treatment: depends on cause.
  • Prognosis: depends on cause.

Presentating signs

  • Eyelid skin thickening and inflammation (edema, hyperemia).
  • Epiphora can be present based on the cause.
  • Deformation of the eyelids.
  • Blepharospasm   can be present based on the cause.

Acute presentation

  • Swollen eyelids.
  • Epiphora.
  • Blepharospasm.

Geographic incidence

  • Myxomatosis Myxomatosis endemic in wild rabbits in Europe, Australia and in cottontails in Western USA.
  • Myxomatosis is more common in outdoor rabbits, especially in late summer, autumn and early winter.
  • Treponema paraluis cuniculi - worldwide.

Age predisposition

  • Younger rabbits are more predisposed for more severe clinical myxomatosis.

Breed predisposition

  • Treponema paraluis-cuniculi is more common in breeding colonies.
  • Genetic resistance to myxomatosis varies between rabbit populations and countries.

Public health considerations

  • Rabbit syphilis (treponematosis Spirochetosis) is NOT transmissible to humans.

Cost considerations

  • Penicillin G (treponematosis) therapy, nursing care or euthanasia (myxomatosis) are all relatively inexpensive.
  • More expensive in other cases if nursing care is attempted.

Special risks

  • As myxomatosis causing immunosuppression, antibiotic therapy is advocated. However, treatment of mild myxomatosis is recommended only in individually kept rabbits. Access of any insect in the household should be prevented.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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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.
  • Jekl V, Hauptman K, Minarikova A et al (2016) Pharmacokinetic study of benzylpenicillin potassium after intramuscular administration in rabbits. Vet Rec 179 (1), 18 PubMed.
  • Florin M, Rusanen E, Haessig M et al (2009) Clinical presentation, treatment, and outcome of dacryocystitis in rabbits: a retrospective study of 28 cases (2003-2007). Vet Ophthal 12 (6), 350-356 PubMed.
  • von Bomhard W, Goldschmidt M H, Shofer F S et al (2007) Cutaneous neoplasms in pet rabbits: a retrospective study. Vet Pathol 44 (5), 579-88 PubMed.
  • Jeong M B, Kim N R, Yi N Y et al (2005) Spontaneous ophthalmic diseases in 586 New Zealand white rabbits. Exp Anim 54 (5), 395-403 PubMed.
  • Sloop G D, Moreau J M, Conerly L L et al (1999) Acute inflammation of the eyelid and cornea in Staphylococcus keratitis in the rabbit. Invest Ophthalmol & Vis Sci 40 (2), 385-391 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Varga M (2014) Ophthalmic Diseases. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd ed. Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier, UK. pp 350-366 .
  • 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. 3nd edn. Saunders, US. pp 523-531.
  • Williams D (2012) The Rabbit Eye. In: Ophthalmology of Exotic Pets. Ed. William D. Blackwell Publishing, US. pp 15-55.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002) Ophthalmic Diseases. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. Butterworth-Heinemann, UK. pp 292-306.


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