Unilateral eyelid lesion and ophthalmologic findings in an aardvark (Orycteropus afer): Case report and literature review

Màrian Matas*, Innes Wise, Nicholas J. Masters, Jennifer Stewart, Andrew Holloway, David Donaldson, Claudia Hartley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objective: To summarize the medical knowledge surrounding aardvarks to date, to describe the ophthalmic examination of a specimen with a chronic history of an upper eyelid lesion, of an assumed blind left eye, and to detail the anesthesia procedure performed. Procedure: A 23-year-old aardvark was examined under general anesthesia and multiple ocular abnormalities were detected in the left eye (globe deviation, corneal opacities, iridodonesis, and aphakia). A thickening of the palpebral conjunctiva affecting the medial upper eyelid with erosion of the normal eyelid margin anatomy was identified. The adnexal lesion was resected by a wedge resection and histopathology was performed. Suture breakdown 3 days postoperatively required a second surgery, where buried sutures were used. The surgical techniques and postoperative care are discussed. Results: The histopathology revealed mucosal hyperplasia and moderate neutrophilic and lymphoplasmacytic blepharitis. No causal organisms were identified. Following initial wound dehiscence and a modified surgical technique, the upper eyelid healed without complication and retained complete function. Conclusions: The eyelid lesion involved a benign inflammatory and hyperplastic pathology of unknown etiology. Adjusting routine ophthalmic surgical techniques to wildlife and zoo animals can be challenging and complicated. It is important to understand the nature of the animals being managed, their circadian cycle, and habitat, to adjust and individualize the surgical approach, instrumentation, suture material, and perioperative treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Ophthalmology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Aardvark
  • Anesthesia
  • Eyelid
  • Globe deviation
  • Surgery
  • Wound dehiscence


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