Bilateral ocular anomalies in a South African fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)

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Abstract

A female South African fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) began having obvious clinical ophthalmologic problems by 8 weeks of age. The initial clinical sign was diffuse corneal edema, which progressed to bullae formation and ulcers; the underlying cause of corneal edema and bullous keratopathy was not identified antemortem. An ophthalmological evaluation was performed when the fur seal was approximately 6 months of age, but due to the diffuse corneal edema, intraocular structures could not be easily evaluated. An underlying infectious etiology was suspected; therefore, appropriate diagnostics were pursued, but did not identify a cause. Initial improvement was noted, but the fur seal then became blind and eventually became very painful. Due to decreased quality of life and aggressive behavior, the fur seal was euthanized. Histopathological diagnoses were persistent tunica vasculosa lentis and persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous with bilateral hypermature resorbed cataracts and retinal detachments with rosette formation.

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