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Real Life Case: Glaucoma
Sufferer: Whiskas, 17 months, doe.

At the age of eighteen months, Whiskas was diagnosed with glaucoma – apparently rare in mice. We had first taken her to the vet when her eye looked a little swollen, although it wasn’t red and didn’t have any lumps or discharge or other symptoms. The vet thought it might be an infection or similar problem (as did we) and gave us some antibiotic ointment to apply daily to the surface of the eyeball. Luckily for me all my mice are very calm with me and let me do anything that their treatment might require, so this was no problem for me to do.

Antibiotic eye cream the vet gave me - note the label reads 'For dogs, cats and rabbits'!

I returned to the vet after nightly applications failed to produce results. She had a further look at Whiskas and diagnosed her with glaucoma. Glaucoma causes blindness in the affected eye and the eye will then ulcerate. This is a condition treatable in humans, but the only treatment in mice is to remove the eye.

Unfortunately due to Whiskas’ chest condition (fluid on her lungs: not affecting her but meaning that she would not survive an operation) this was not an option. The vet said that she was doing fine the way she was but would have to be put down when the symptoms got too bad. I continued to apply the antibiotic ointment that I had left over from the previous prescription nightly to keep the eye clean and perhaps give Whiskas longer use of the eye.

When Whiskas was eventually put to sleep around three months later, it was because she had a tumour, not because she had glaucoma. Her eye was not too bad, although occasionally it did bleed a little bit, but soon stopped on its own. When we took her to the vet that final time, the vet thought that she may have had a secondary tumour at the back of her eye as well as the glaucoma, so I cannot tell what symptoms were exclusive to which condition.

Whiskas with her glaucoma - as you can see the eye would bleed a little occasionally

What I can say though, is that Whiskas lived perfectly well with her glaucoma and it did not slow her down. Even though I think she lost part or most of the sight in that eye, she functioned exactly the same as before and was still happy.

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