Guest Post: lens luxation in a Dalmation

Today, we have a guest post from Dr. Rex Riggs, owner of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital in Powell, Ohio. He is a veterinarian, and an Advisory Board member of Embrace Pet Insurance. Dr. Riggs writes about an eye condition he came across recently in his clinic.

Eye conditions are always interesting and you really need to treat them appropriately and not wait. I had an interesting case in the other day when I saw Savannah, a 13 year old Dalmatian that has been coming to see me since she was a cute wiggly puppy, in 1997. She came in for her routine exam, vaccinations and heartworm tests with no complaints from her mom. Each year we do a complete physical exam from the “nose to the toes” on our patients. Hopefully you will see why this is important.

Ophtha2 I start by just watching the dog walk around the room. You can tell a lot by just observing the pet. I noticed that she did not seem to see as well when she was moving to her left. I then took my ophthalmoscope and looked at her eyes. The right eye looked normal but when I looked at the left eye I noticed something was abnormal. I could see kind of a crescent moon look to it. What has happened is that her lens had become dislodged from its normal resting place, behind the pupil, and fallen into the back chamber of her eye.

The lens is used to take the light coming through the cornea, and focus it to the back of the retina where the optic disc sits and then sends the image to the brain. That is how we see. The lens can slip (or luxate) either behind the pupil or in front. When it slips forward there is a high chance that glaucoma will occur. The recommendation for a forward or anterior luxation of the lens is either to try to remove the lens or more commonly remove the entire eye.

The good news for Savannah is that glaucoma is much less common for a lens that luxates backwards. Normally you do not need to surgically treat a backward or posterior luxation. We will check her eye pressures every 1 to 3 months to make sure she is fine but so far, her condition has not had a major impact on her day to day activities.

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Dr_Riggs Dr. Rex Riggs grew up in Wadsworth, Ohio, near Akron. Dr Riggs is co-owner of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital in Powell, Ohio. He is also on the board of the North Central Region of Canine Companions of Independence, a board member of The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society and Small Animal Practitioner Advancement Board at The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Riggs lives in Lewis Center with his wife Nancy, their two dogs Boo and Maggie, and two cats Franklin and Speeder. Outside of work, Dr. Riggs is an avid golfer and enjoys travel and photography.

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