Rabbits with naturally occurring cataracts referred for phacoemulsification and intraocular lens implantation: a preliminary study of 12 cases

Sanchez, R F and Everson, R and Hedley, J and Dawson, C and Lam, R and Priestnall, S L and Garcia De Carellan, A and De Miguel, C and Seymour, C (2017) Rabbits with naturally occurring cataracts referred for phacoemulsification and intraocular lens implantation: a preliminary study of 12 cases. VETERINARY OPHTHALMOLOGY.

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Abstract

Objective To describe the presentation of 15 rabbits with naturally occurring cataracts referred for phacoemulsification surgery, the procedure in 13 cases and the follow-up in 12. Animals included Fifteen rabbits (30 eyes), nine of which stopped following visual cues in association with cataract progression. Materials and Methods Rabbits underwent preoperative ophthalmic and ocular ultrasound examination. Results Thirteen rabbits (22 eyes) had mature cataracts. Ten were bilateral and three unilateral. Two rabbits had an anterior chamber abscess. The cataract in one of these was incipient. One rabbit had bilateral immature cataracts. One rabbit had a subluxated lens, and one had a retinal detachment. Thirteen rabbits (22 eyes) underwent phacoemulsification. Eighteen, 13.5-mm capsular tension rings (CTRs) and seventeen, 13-mm IOLs (Acrivet®, Berlin, Germany) were fitted including one 41D 60V-model, and three 49D and thirteen 58D 20S-models. Intraoperative complications included one unilateral posterior-capsular tear, one lens subluxation, and one expulsive choroidal hemorrhage. One rabbit died during anesthetic recovery. Nine cases were PCR-tested for Encephalitozoon cuniculi, and only three were positive. The median follow-up time was 12 months (4-24 months). Rabbits that were not following visual cues preoperatively did so postoperatively, and surgery resulted in a clear visual axis for the follow-up period in every case except in two, due to reasons other than the surgery. Conclusions Phacoemulsification with CTR and IOL implantation offers good long-term results and can improve the quality of life of pet rabbits. Retinal detachment, lens luxation, expulsive choroidal hemorrhage, and anesthetic death are potential complications.