Retrospective analysis of ocular disease in a population of captive pteropodid bats, 2003-2020

Vet Ophthalmol. 2021 May;24(3):240-251. doi: 10.1111/vop.12879. Epub 2021 Mar 8.


Objective: To perform retrospective analysis of captive pteropodid bats presented to the University of Florida for ocular or adnexal disease from 2003-2020.

Animals studied: Twenty-four individuals from seven species were included.

Procedures: Records were analyzed for disease process, methods of treatment, and surgical techniques and complications.

Results: The most frequently reported abnormality was corneal disease (79%), followed by cataracts (54%), and uveitis (42%). Corneal disease was primarily attributed to either trauma or exposure keratitis secondary to buphthalmia. The majority of uveitis appeared to be lens-induced. Five cases (21%) of glaucoma were reported, all of which accompanied lens luxation. Of the seven enucleations performed, six had post-operative complications (85.7%), including swelling at the surgical site, seroma formation, and bacterial infection. There was no significant relationship between age and trauma, age and cataract formation, sex and trauma, or species and cataract formation.

Conclusions: The most common underlying cause of ocular pathology in these cases was trauma. While the bats tolerated topical and systemic treatment well, individual temperament must be taken into account when developing treatment plans, and prevention of injury is the most effective management strategy.

Keywords: cataract; cornea; ocular; pteropodid; trauma; uveitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo
  • Cataract / diagnosis
  • Cataract / veterinary*
  • Chiroptera*
  • Corneal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Corneal Diseases / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Records / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Uveitis / diagnosis
  • Uveitis / veterinary*