ISSN 2398-2985      

Cataracts

6guinea pig

Synonym(s): Lens opacity


Introduction

  • Cause: genetics, diabetes mellitus, intraocular disease, nutritional, trauma, drug-induced, age-related.
  • Signs: lens opacity.
  • Diagnosis: ophthalmic confirmation of lens opacity.
  • Treatment: curative is surgical removal. Most pets - no treatment needed.
  • Prognosis: good for pet guinea pigs.
Print off the Owner factsheets on Eye problems and Giving your guinea pig a health check to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Disruption to the normal metabolism of the lens.
  • Causes:
    • Genetics: autosomal dominant in some strains (some Abyssinian, English short-haired).
    • Diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus.
    • Intraocular disease including uveitis, glaucoma, lens luxation and retinal disease.
    • Nutritional Nutrition: overview: L-tryptophan deficiency. This is not common for a guinea pig receiving some commercial pelleted feed. Vitamin C deficiency Vitamin C deficiency: low levels of ascorbic acid in the lens might be a causative factor in cataractogenesis as it acts as a lenticular UV filter and an antioxidant.
    • Trauma that is a perforating injury to the cornea and lens.
    • Drug-induced: tylosin in pregnant sows.
    • Age-related.

Predisposing factors

  • Any of the above diseases.

Pathophysiology

  • Disruption to the normal biochemical mechanisms of lens metabolism. 
  • This results in altered hydration and subsequent osmotic effects which leads to the formation of opacity.
  • The lens, lens capsule or both may be involved.
  • Genetic origin cataracts are generally posterior polar subcapsular cataracts.

Timecourse

  • May be gradual or acute depending on triggering factor.

Epidemiology

  • If inherited, then it is recommended to not breed from affected guinea pigs.
  • 18% of outbred guinea pigs in one study presented cataracts.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Williams D L (2013) Laboratory animal ophthalmology. In: Veterinary Ophthalmology. 5th edn. Eds: Gellatt K N, Gilger B C & Kern T J. Willey-Blackwell. pp 1692-1725.
  • Williams D & Sullivan A (2010) Ocular disease in the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus): a survey of 1000 animals. Vet Opth 13 (1), 54-62 PubMed.
  • Harkness J E, Turner P V, Vandewoude S & Wheler C L (2010) Harkness and Wagner’s Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents. 5th edn. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 214-216.
  • Montiani-Ferreira F (2009) Rodents: Ophthalmology. In: BSAVA Manual of Rodents and Ferrets. Eds: Keeble E & Meredith A. British Small Animal Veterinary Association. pp 169-180.

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