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Medical Management of Acute Ocular Hypertension in a Western Screech Owl (Megascops kennicottii)

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A wild young adult western screech owl (Megascops kennicottii) of unknown sex was presented for evaluation of an abnormal left eye (OS). Ophthalmic examination OS revealed raised intraocular pressure (37 mm Hg; reference interval 7-16 mm Hg), mydriasis, conjunctival and episcleral hyperemia, shallow anterior chamber due to anterior displacement of the lens and iris, rubeosis iridis, and engorgement of the pecten. The intraocular pressure in the right eye (OD) was 11 mm Hg. Multifocal pale, variably translucent, curvilinear to vermiform opacities were observed in the medial and ventral peripheral regions of the retina OD, consistent with focal retinitis. Mannitol (0.46 g/kg IV) was administered over 10 minutes. Forty minutes later, the intraocular pressure was 27 mm Hg OS and 13 mm Hg OD. Dorzolamide (one drop OS q12h), diclofenac (one drop OU q8-12h), and meloxicam (0.5 mg/kg PO q24h) were administered for 3 days. The intraocular pressure OS was within normal limits 1 day (11 mm Hg), 7 days (13 mm Hg), and 4 weeks (14 mm Hg) after this treatment. Complications arising during hospitalization and rehabilitation included superficial corneal ulceration of both eyes presumed secondary to trauma on being caught and superficial damage to a talon. The owl was released after a period of rehabilitation. Characteristic presenting signs as well as response to therapy suggest aqueous misdirection was the cause of ocular hypertension in this owl. To our knowledge, this is the first report of suspected aqueous misdirection and its medical management in a raptor.

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