ISSN 2398-2985      

Ocular gland prolapse

Jreptile

Synonym(s): Lacrimal gland prolapse, Glans nictitans prolapse


Introduction

  • Cause:
  • Signs: acute onset swelling in the vicinity of the eye noted by the owner.
  • Diagnosis: clinical examination.
  • Treatment:
    • Surgical replacement of prolapsed gland.
    • Amputation of prolapsed tissue is an option in cases of severe neoplasia. This may serve as a debulking procedure only.
    • Medical treatment.
    • If no ocular discomfort and compromise present, simple monitoring may be sufficient.
  • Prognosis: good if no neoplastic process present.

Anatomy

  • For an in-depth review of reptilian ocular anatomy see Ocular anatomy and physiology.
  • Whilst a gland prolapse is possible in all species, it is rare and has been mostly described in Chelonia and crocodilians. This is likely due to the large size of the lacrimal glands in these species.
Lizards
  • Lizards possess a large Harderian gland located ventromedially to the globe .
  • A single lacrimal gland is present which is located dorsotemporally to the globe. This gland is absent in geckos and chameleons.
  • Some types of geckos such as the Leopard Gecko Leopard Gecko, have three eyelids. In other species such as the Crested Gecko Crested Gecko, the eyelids have fused to form one clear see-through eyelid called the spectacle.
  • Chameleons Veiled chameleon possess three separate eyelids.
Snakes
  • The entire eye of the snake is covered by a single spectacle formed by fusion of transparent eyelids.
  • Snakes do not have lacrimal glands.
  • The snake’s orbit has only the Harderian gland, which secretes a seromucous fluid between the spectacle and the cornea. This is located at the posterior aspect of the globe.
  • The Harderian gland is largely reduced in sea snakes.
Chelonia
  • The lacrimal and Harderian glands are large in most Chelonia compared to other reptiles, especially so in marine species and those inhabiting brackish water since they have been shown to excrete salt.
  • The Harderian gland is located on the medial aspect of the globe.
  • The lacrimal gland is located on the lateral aspect of the globe.
  • The nasolacrimal duct is absent in all Chelonia.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Trauma most common.

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

  • Lipid deposits within the glans nictitans.

Timecourse

  • Trauma: acute.
  • Obesity: gradual development dependent on degree of lipid deposit in and around the lacrimal gland.

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

  • Lawton M P C (2019) Ophthalmology. In: Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Divers S J & Stahl, S J. Elsevier, USA. pp 723.
  • S J Divers (2019) Surgery: Principles and Techniques. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 3rd edn. Eds: Girling S J & Raiti P. BSAVA, UK. pp 218.
  • Williams D L (2012) The Reptile Eye. In: Ophthalmology of Exotic Pets. Wiley-Blackwell, USA. pp 160-174.

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