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#5164 - 01/19/02 01:25 PM Cataracts...

Mike and I just got back from a 10 day vacation and discovered the joey we have has developed cataracts. She is eating the same thing as Myra and Myron and they show no signs. They are caged together. Any one have any idea if they are treatable?<p>If not she will live out her life with mom and dad so she always has a trail to follow.<p>In five years we have never had this problem with any glider.<p>Any ideas will be appreciated.<p>She is about 3 weeks fully weaned, has always lived in a large cage with her parents.<p>Elwin

#5165 - 01/20/02 01:33 AM Re: Cataracts... [Re: ]

Elwin: Some questions for you:<p>1)what diet was Myra on prior to/during the joey's gestation period?
2)If Myra was the BML diet, were you feeding any food sources regularly that might have been high in fat?
3) can you describe the physical appearance of the "Cataracts" & perhaps email a pic of the joey's eyes to me?<p>There are several possibilities here:<p>1)a true congenital, hereditary cataract condition of the eye lenses caused by either a autsonomal recessive gene or a autosomal dominant gene which would not necessarily show up in the parents or other of their joey offspring. Although it may be difficult to name the specific cause of a cataract, cataracts that develop in eyes free of signs of ocular disease are assumed to be inherited. Many diseases have their basis in abnormal genes. Genes can change or combine from one generation to the next. Thus parents can carry genes which are originally harmless,
but can cause problems in later generations due to genetic mutation occurring. Abnormal genes, whether mutated or not, form the basis for inherited disease. <p>2)cholesterol/fat deposits in the cornea of the eye Due to too high a level of cholesterol in the mother's diet.<p>3)catarcts can also be caused by injuries to the eye, inflammation within the eye (uveitis) or internal diseases that have an effect on the eye such as diabetes mellitus. <p>Cataracts are also classified by age of onset (congenital, acquired or juvenile, or senile), physical appearance of the cataract (location in the lens -see below), state of development of the cataract (incipient, immature, mature, hypermature or morgagnian), or cause (traumatic, diabetic, inherited). <p>The first thing to do is have your joey examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist in order to determine a definitive diagnosis of the joey's eye condition. Additionally, The lens is an important link of the total visual system, yet the health of the entire eye should be evaluated before the lens develops a complete cataract. Early evaluation of the eye with a cataract sometimes permits examination of the retina. If the cataract is complete and 'mature', the retina
cannot be directly examined and an ultrasound or an electroretinogram examinations, or both may be needed to assess the health of the retina. At the time of the initial examination, the cataract may sometimes be identified as to cause, area of involvement and stage of progression. Not all cataracts lead to blindness. "Incomplete" cataracts may not impair vision significantly so it is very important to determine. <p>WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR CATARACTS?<p>There is no medical treatment known to slow the progression of, prevent the formation of
or reverse the changes of cataracts. While surgery to remove the cataractous lens is the only
known treatment in animals and man, sugar gliders are not considered good candidates for such surgery not only because of anesthetic issues but also because cataract surgery involves a period of intense pre- and post-operative care followed by an extended period of low level therapy that gliders would be hard pressed to tolerate. <p>
CAN YOUR JOEY ADJUST TO BLINDNESS?:<p>1. Remember that blindness does not mean a glider cannot function independently. In fact studies show that animals blind from birth(as well as people) adapt to their surroundings much more readily that those who develop blindness later in life. <p>2. Keep food, water dishes/bottles and sleeping pouches in the same areas at all times. This will enable the joey to learn their placement enabling her to get around/function better than you could imagine. My Helen is totally blind but drinks from a water bottle and knows exactly where the food dishes, sleeping pouches & wodent wheel are without any problems.<p>3)If your joey gets disoriented, take her to her sleeping pouch or food dish. This will be a land mark that will help re-orient your little girl.<p>4)to prevent your joey from falling from any type of height in the cage & possibly getting hurt, consider strategically placing a hammock or two at lower points in the cage to cushion her fall. <p>
Below I have posted tables to help you understand the autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant gene scenarios which can explain why the joey's parents show no signs of eye problems: <p>Basic Genetics of Heritable Eye Disorders:<p>Most heritable ocular disorders are transmitted as autosomal recessive genes. The GENOTYPE of an animal represents its genetic makeup relative to a given trait i.e.: normal, carrier or affected, while the PHENOTYPE represents the physical makeup
relative to that trait i.e. normal or affected. An animal with a normal PHENOTYPE, may be genetically normal, or may be a carrier. In certain diseases where the onset of the
disease is not noted until later in life, the animal may have a normal phenotype before
onset of the disease, but is genetically affected. <p>For diseases with autosomal recessive mode of
inheritance:<p>RR represents a genetically normal animal
Rr represents a carrier animal
rr represents an affected animal.<p> one parent
other parent offspring 1 offspring 2
offspring 3 offspring 4 <p>How to read these tables:<p>Table 1: Normal X Carrier
r Rr Rr <p>
The result of this breeding is 50% normal (RR), 50% carriers (Rr) <p>Table 2: Normal X Affected
r Rr Rr
r Rr Rr <p>The result of this breeding is 100% carriers (Rr) <p>Table 3: Carrier X Carrier<p> R r
r Rr rr <p>The result of this breeding is 25% genetically normal (RR), 50% carriers (Rr), and 25%
affected (rr) <p>Table 4: Carrier X Affected <p> R r
r Rr Rr
r rr rr <p>The result of this breeding is 50% carriers (Rr), 50% affected (rr) <p>Table 5: Affected X Affected <p> r r
r rr rr
r rr rr <p>The result of this breeding is 100% affected (rr). <p>
For diseases with autosomal dominant mode of:<p>In dominantly transmitted genetics, heterozygous affected animals may be affected to a lesser degree than homozygous animals. There are a few factors which may confuse the distribution numbers of the condition in the progeny. Some heterozygotes may appear phenotypically normal under a phenomenon known as "incomplete penetrance". In some conditions, homozygotes die in utero, while heterozygotes survive.<p>dd represents a genetically normal animal
Dd represents a heterozygous affected animal
DD represents a homozygous affected animal.<p>
Table 6: Normal X Heterozygous Affected
d d
D Dd Dd
d dd dd <p>The result of this breeding is 50% normal (dd), 50% heterozygous affected (Dd) <p>Table 7: Normal X Homozygous Affected<p> d d
D Dd Dd
D Dd Dd <p>The result of this breeding is 100% heterozygous affected (Dd) <p>Table 8: Heterozygous Affected X Heterozygous
Affected<p> D d
d Dd dd <p>The result of this breeding is 25% genetically normal (dd), 50% heterozygous affected
(Dd), and 25% homozygous affected (DD) <p>Table 9: Heterozygous Affected X Homozygous
Affected <p> D d
D DD Dd <p>The result of this breeding is 50% heterozygous affected (Dd), 50% homozygous affected
(DD) <p>Table 10: Homozygous Affected X Homozygous
Affected <p> D D
D DD DD <p>The result of this breeding is 100% homozygous affected (DD). <p>
Sorry this post is so long but I felt it might be of general interest to board members. It gives you more to consider when it comes to trying to obtain information regarding prior diets/health histories of gliders and/or rescues you may obtain
in the future. I also want people to realize that even though a glider may be blind, the glider can lead a full & happy life. My Helen is a testament to this fact. She crawls around everywhere in her cage without any help from her mate, uses the wodent wheel without any problems & has oriented herself to the dome tent so well that she even does little jumps from the side of the tent onto me. She has also been a great mommy to Boo-Bear who is now 11 weeks OOP. <p> <img src="graemlins/yelclap.gif" border="0" alt="clap" /> <img src="graemlins/dance.gif" border="0" alt="dance" /> <img src="graemlins/multi.gif" border="0" alt="[blob]" /><p>[ 01-20-2002: Message edited by: Glideroo ]</p>

#5166 - 01/20/02 10:00 AM Re: Cataracts... [Re: ]

Lucy: just hope the info. is helpful. I hope everyone will stop & think about the cholesterol content of their gliders' diet since gliders do not metabolize fat well. If a female glider is on a good diet & the fat content is not high,there should be no problem with a glider developing fat deposits in the corneas & possibily passing on the problem to her joeys during their pouch development & the 6-8 weeks they nurse after coming OOP. <img src="graemlins/thumb.gif" border="0" alt="thumb" /> <p>
Now I know the next thing someone is going to ask is how do you determine how much fat is acceptable in a glider's diet. Well, I'm in the process of trying to find that out & will post to let people know as soon as I can. <img src="graemlins/wave.gif" border="0" alt="wave" />

#5167 - 01/21/02 09:35 AM Re: Cataracts... [Re: ]
Viva La Glider Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 862
Loc: Saint Petersburg, FL
Glideroo ... most impressive piece of work!<p>Elwin, are you sure that it is a cataract? I've had an experience with an older glider where one eye turned white from infection. It looked quite like a cataract, but upon vet's exam, she showed me how the infection was near the eye socket area, and treated accordingly. Our little girl did lose her vision in that eye, but has adjusted well to the misfortune.<p>Also, is this problem apparent in one eye or both?
Lisa and Arnold

#5168 - 01/21/02 08:32 PM Re: Cataracts... [Re: ]

I am trying a vitamin E therapy I got an email about. I think this is more about overheating than diet. But I have increased their carrots for vitamin A.<p>These cataracts are white dots centered in her eyes. The color of milk.<p>We have decide since her parents cage is large enough that MaryAnn will be staying with us permanently. One of my shelter rules was sick or injured glider are lifetime residents.<p>MaryAnn is named for Farrah Faucet's character in the Gore Vidal novel made movie "Myra Breckenridge", the same source of her parents names, Myra and Myron being the main characters. If you get a chance to see the movie it is a cult classic in the making.<p>Thanks for the info and I will post a pic as soon as hubby gets the site up.

#5169 - 01/21/02 09:43 PM Re: Cataracts... [Re: ]
Pockets Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 01/02/00
Posts: 2092
Loc: Lone Star State
Glad to be helpful Elwin!<p>Actually my research shows that some cataracts can & have been healed, it involves using a special oral Vitamin E.
Cataracts caused by overheating & too much oxygen in the enviroment have been successfully treated.<p>Cataracts caused by cows milk cannot be healed<p>Lucy asked that I post my cataract info here, but I will need an ok 1st to do so from one of the researchers & an author!<p>[ 01-21-2002: Message edited by: POCKETS ]</p>
:grey: We will be known forever by the tracks we leave :grey:


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