We have many wonderful little rabbits that come to see us for general health checkups, vaccinations and when they are unwell. One such bunny is Pepper, a little salt and pepper coloured dwarf rabbit. One day her concerned owner noticed her right eye had clouded over. She visited the clinic and on closer examination, we noticed it was a cataract as you can see in the photo.
A cataract forms in the lens and gives the eye a white, “cracked ice” appearance. Once a cataract has formed there are two possible problems that can arise: vision loss or painful inflammation inside the eye.
Removal of a cataract is a referral procedure done by an ophthalmology specialist. It is performed under a general anaesthetic where the cataract is broken up then removed from the eye.
Prior to this surgery, another procedure is done to check the activity of the retina at the back of the eye. If the retina is not functioning well it means blindness would be present even without the cataract so surgery is not recommended. In this case we recommend medication to reduce the chance of the eye becoming inflamed.
Pepper had her cataract removed and the eye specialist commented on how well Pepper coped with the surgery - she was up eating again soon afterwards.
Her devoted family diligently gave her the eye and anti-inflammatory medications to ensure her recovery and there were minimal complications. After the surgery, Pepper’s owner noticed some marked behavioural changes: Pepper was much more confident and active now that her vision had returned. She was back to her cheeky old self, much happier to venture outside and hopping around the house... especially around the back of the couch!