Last month ophthalmic surgeon, Dr. Leonard Teye-Botchway, operated on the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo’s Parma Wallaby, Mandu, removing his luxated lens that was causing fluid build-up and dangerous pressure to form in his eye.
“We had noticed that Mandu’s eye had suddenly become enlarged and cloudy,” said Dr. Ian Walker, Principle Curator and veterinarian on the facility. “This is normally due to a build-up of pressure in the eye known as glaucoma, and is likely related to ageing in this species.”
After a physical examination it was determined that Mandu’s glaucoma had been caused by a luxated lens that had fallen forward in his eye causing an increase in pressure and damage to the front of the eye, called the cornea.
It was in the best interest of the animal to try and save the eye, so Dr. Walker arranged for eye specialist, Dr. Teye-Botchway, to perform the surgery. Dr. Teye-Botchway was assisted by Dr. Gaelle Roth while anaesthesia was provided by Dr. Walker.
The surgery consisted of making a small incision in the Wallaby’s cornea and carefully removing the lens. The surgical wound was then sutured closed with a special suture, which is thinner than human hair, using microsurgical instruments.
Mandu received medication for pain relief after surgery. She also received anti-inflammatory drops and antibiotics to aid in the recovery.
Since the surgery, Mandu’s recovery has been gradual and progressive, and the operated eye is now much clearer, although it will never be known exactly how much sight the wallaby has.
“There is no doubt the he is far more comfortable, now that we have removed the lens,” said Dr. Teye-Botchway. “It took him a few weeks to recover from the operation, but the cloudiness in his right eye has cleared considerably and he now confidently hops through his habitat with no issue.”
Dr. Walker stated “I would like to thank Dr Teye-Botchway personally for taking time out of his busy schedule and using his expertise to consult and perform surgery on one of our animals. Not every human surgeon would be willing, but BAMZ has been very lucky in getting assistance in this regard and we are very appreciative.”
• Press release from Bermuda Zoological Society