A Clinical Case from the Archives : 03/06/2005

This cat has sustained major mandibular and maxilliary trauma after a road traffic accident. There is no menace response or pupillary light response although visual placing reflexes using this eye seem intact. What is the problem with its left eye and how would you resolve it?

The major problem for the eye is lagophthalmos – a failure of eyelid closure – probably caused by facial nerve neuropraxia. The lack of reflexes in the presence of vision suggests that these defects are efferent rather than afferent. There is an internal ophthalmoplegia with oculomotor dysfunction and a facial nerve deficit also. The lagophthalmos is resoluting in a corneal ulcer and the key ocular treatment is a temporary tarsoraphy as shown here with a matress suture with stents of drip tubing. After one week the corneal lesions had resolved and ocular reflexes had returned.


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