Ocular disease in the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus): a survey of 1000 animals

Fonte: David Williams and Ann Sullivan

Heterotopic bone formation in a Guinea Pig
   Heterotopic bone formation in a Guinea Pig

Objective: Anecdotal evidence has suggested that guinea pigs have a high prevalence of ocular lesions. Here we undertook a survey of 1000 guinea pigs from populations of animals kept as laboratory animals, breeding show cavies, animals kept as pets and those from rescue and rehoming centers. Each animal was examined to assess for ocular abnormalities. Procedures: A full ophthalmic examination was performed on each animal with direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy and with slit lamp biomicroscopy. Measurement of tear production using the Schirmer tear test 1 and intraocular pressure using the Tonopen applanation tonometer after topical anesthesia was undertaken in selected animals. Results: Forty-five percent of animals examined had some ocular abnormality. The majority were lens lesions including 17% with cataract and 21% with subclinical lens abnormalities such as nuclear sclerosis. Other abnormalities included conjunctivitis in 4.7% and keratitis in 3.6%. Lipid deposition in conjunctiva was observed in 2.3% of guinea pigs and ciliary body heterotopic bone formation in 0.8% of animals. Conclusions: This study shows a high proportion of eyes with some degree of abnormality in animals otherwise considered healthy. Information on diseases of the guinea pig eye is important given the use of the species as a laboratory rodent and also the number kept as pets and show animals.


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