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Eye Infection Figure 2

Figure 2: Infection of the left eye in 18-m0nth-old female rat (Maya)
Case history and photos


An obese 18 month-old rat, black blazed banded dumbo, intact female rat, adopted at 5 weeks old. A history of intermittent urine staining of the fur surrounding the genital area occurring throughout life and which was briefly treated unsuccessfully with oral antibiotics.

At 12 months of age she was taken to the vet for a regular check-up. Abnormalities were noticed in both right and left eyes. The vet diagnosed coloboma of the iris right eye, and what appeared to be gradual deterioration of the iris of the left eye unrelated to the coloboma.

Clinical Signs

The first clear sign of change in Maya’s eyes was noticed when she was 5 months old. The left iris appeared to have “holes” in it, as if it had been “shred”.

Over time, the left iris gradually appeared to degenerate, until it consisted of no more than a few “shreds”. At around 18 months of age, a small whitish/red mass was noticed on the inside of the caudal (in the direction of her tail) part of the left cornea. It is possible that it had gone unnoticed for a while. Over the course of the following 3 months, it seemed to enlarge slightly.

Her reaction to the environment was similar to some PEWs (pink-eyed white rats), suggesting that she couldn’t see as well as her dark eyed cage-mates.


At 19 months of age, Maya was again taken to the same vet to be seen for a mass/lesion noted in the left eye. The vet’s assessment indicated a probable accumulation of protein and blood vessels, an indication of healed infection.


Treatment was not deemed necessary, especially since the eye(s) did not appear to bother her.


Maya managed very well despite her gradually degenerating left iris. She and her cage-mates lived in a multi-level cage, the interior of which was changed about quite frequently and she was easily able to adapt to changes.

Follow up

At 25 months of age Maya passed away suddenly. No postmortem histopathology was performed


Left eye infection
This first row of photos shows changes in Maya’s left eye. The left iris, when viewed up closely, appeared to have “holes” in it as if it had been “shred”.

left eye infection
This second row of photos shows healed changes in the left eye following infection.

Case history and photos courtesy of Cyzahhe

Posted on January 17, 2013, 11:20, Last updated on January 18, 2013, 14:47 | Figures

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