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Maggie is no longer cross-eyed!
15 July 2015
Meet Maggie, a lovely 2-year-old Japanese Akita who presented to the Willows Ophthalmology Service in April this year.
Maggie's owner was worried that her eyes had changed colour and that her vision had deteriorated, Maggie was bumping into things at home. Ophthalmologist Clinician Carolin Chiwitt examined Maggie and found that Maggie's eyes had a very severe squint. Both eyeballs were rotated downwards so that only the white part of her eyes (the sclera) was visible. This abnormal eye position was the reason that Maggie was having problems with her vision.
Maggie was suffering from a disease called 'restrictive extraocular muscle fibrosis'. This is a very rare condition where the muscles around the eyes start to scar and contract. This causes the eyeballs to be pulled away from the normal central position. Maggie's owner was advised that surgery on the scarred muscles was the only way to try restore Maggie’s vision.
Maggie's owner was very keen to help her in any way and brought her back to Willows for the surgery. Carolin and Ophthalmology Specialist Heidi Featherstone performed the surgery together in both eyes. Under general anaesthesia the scarred muscles were identified and cut, to allow the eyeballs to return to their normal central position.
Maggie recovered well from the surgery and could see again immediately! Before the surgery she had been bumping into furniture at home and in the hospital but just a few hours afterwards she managed to walk around the hospital and go outside for a walk without any problems.
Maggie went home and at her check-up two weeks later Carolin found Maggie to be doing very well. Her eyes were in a normal position and had healed well. Maggie can once again watch everything that happens in her garden!
Maggie's eyes before the operation. Note how much of the white part of the eye (i.e. the sclera) is exposed
Maggie's left eye prior to surgery
Maggie's right eye prior to surgery
Maggie two weeks after surgery. Her eyes are back in a normal position
Maggie enjoys the first warm days in the garden