Rabbit with odd eye appearance

Our first case in this new blog was a guinea pig, so now we’ll move on to a rabbit….this animal doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort but its owner is worried about the appearance of the eye. Are you? What tests might you do to determine what is happening here and what possible differentials might you consider?

There is a rather florid vascular keratitis here isn’t there – or maybe they are engorged vessels in the iris? In fact the lack of a defined pupil suggests they are in the cornea, but in the eye is a yellowish mass. This is likely to be inflammation and measuring the intraocular pressure showed a hypotony (reduced pressure) signalling intraocular inflammation. It could be a Staphylococcal abscess or Encephalitozoan cuniculi-associated lens-induced uveitis. This latter parasite enters the lens during development, then exits when the rabbit is growing as a young adult and causes a uveitis as it bursts through the lens capsule. This animal was E cuniculi positive on serology so we made that as our tentative diagnosis. Treatment with topical predisolone acetate and fenbendazole by mouth, while not curative, reduced the severity oif the ocular lesions.

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