This study surveyed six North American zoologic institutions to collect retrospective information on the incidence of ocular disease in the giant panda. Reported information included sex and age at presentation, as well as diagnosis, treatment, duration, and clinical outcome for each episode of ocular disease. Among the 42 animals included in the survey, 10 (23.8%) had clinical ocular abnormalities reported. Multiple disease episodes were reported in four animals, with 20 clinical episodes, and one additional animal who presented with corneal scarring from historic keratitis. Age at presentation varied from 0.4 to 26 yr (mean, 11.8 yr; median, 10.4 yr). Corneal abnormalities (including corneal opacity or haze, keratitis, corneal ulcers, and bullous keratopathy) were the most common pathologies reported, followed by conjunctivitis and/or ocular discharge. Additional reported abnormalities included limbal squamous cell carcinoma and lipid degeneration. Six cases resolved without intervention. Treatment protocols included topical and/or systemic medication with or without surgical intervention, which commonly resulted in resolution with or without persistent corneal scar. The prevalence of ocular disease identified in the giant panda in this study is higher than previous publications surveying ocular disease in the family Ursidae, indicating that this is an important source of morbidity in this species.
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9 January 2020
SURVEY OF CLINICAL OPHTHALMIC DISEASE IN THE GIANT PANDA (AILUROPODA MELANOLEUCA) AMONG NORTH AMERICAN ZOOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS
Miryam G. Nogueira Marmolejo,