Unilateral Phacoemulsification of a Mature Cataract in a Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis)
2018 Joint EAZWV/AAZV/Leibniz-IZW Conference
Rodrigo S. Garcés Torres1,3, DVM; Cassandra D. Bliss2, DVM, DACVO; Benjamin E. Alcántar Hernández1, MVZ
1Safari Game Search Foundation dba Wildlife Safari, Winston, OR, USA; 2Bliss Animal Eye Care Inc., Central Point, OR, USA; 3Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México


A 32-year-old, captive female Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) was diagnosed with an active lens-induced anterior uveitis, mature cataract and corneal erosion on the left eye, and a hypermature resorbed cataract with posterior synechia on the right eye. No other systemic or neurologic abnormalities were detected. Due to significant inflammation, removal of the cataract in the left eye was indicated; the right eye was aphakic. Prior to surgery, phacoclastic uveitis was treated for one week with meloxicama, itraconazoleb, topical diclofenacc and topical ofloxacind.1

A unilateral phacoemulsification was performed on the left eye. The individual recovered uneventfully from the procedure and was returned to its enclosure 2 days after surgery; no abnormalities were noted in behavior or reintegration. The pre-surgery treatment was continued with addition of amoxicillin/clavulanatee. Follow-up at day 7 showed a good progression with slight expected anterior uveitis. On days 22, 30 and 39 post-surgery, moderate anterior uveitis was observed. It was medically managed with medications previously described, adding ceftiofurf. At day 41, the patient was discharged, and its vision was considered as restored.

Cataracts have been diagnosed and treated successfully with different techniques in avian species. In a retrospective study, 90 cataracts were identified in 42 species; phacoemulsification was performed on 16 eyes.2 There are few reports of cataracts in flamingos and none were treated.2-4

Phacoemulsification was curative for this cataract; caution is advised with the medical management of post-surgical uveitis. This is the first documented case of phacoemulsification in a Chilean flamingo.


a. 1.6 mg/kg, PO, BID, 7 days, Ostilox®, Norbrook Laboratories Limited, Newry, Co Down, BT35 6PU, Northern Ireland, UK
b. 5 mg/kg, PO, SID, 7 days, Itrafungol®, Elanco US Inc., Greenfield, IN, USA
c. One drop OS, BID, 7 days, Diclofenac Sodium Ophthalmic Solution 0.1%®, Bausch & Lomb Inc., Tampa, FL, USA
d. One drop OS, BID, 7 days, Ofloxacin Ophthalmic Solution®, Akorn, Inc., Lake Forest, IL, USA
e. 125 mg/kg, PO, BID, 7 days, Clavamox®, Zoetis, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI, USA
f. 20 mg/kg, IM, SID, every 4 days, 3 doses, Naxcel 50 mg/ml®, Zoetis, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI, USA


The authors would like to thank the staff from Bliss Animal Eye Care Inc. and the Village Department at Wildlife Safari for their care and dedication in the management of this patient.

Literature Cited

1.  Hawkins MG, Barron HW, Speer BL, Pollock C, Carpenter JW. Birds. In: Carpenter JW, Marion CJ, eds. Exotic Animal Formulary. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Inc.; 2012:183–435.

2.  Rainwater KL, Sykes JM, Sapienza JS. Retrospective investigation of cataract management in avian species in a zoologic collection. J Zoo Wildl Med. 2015;46:858–869.

3.  Meekins JM, Stuckey JA, Carpenter JW, Armbrust L, Higbie C, Rankin AJ. Ophthalmic diagnostic tests and ocular findings in a flock of captive American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber). J Zoo Wildl Med. 2015;29:95–105.

4.  Molter CM, Hollingsworth SR, Kass PH, Chinnadurai SK, Wack RF. Intraocular pressure in captive American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) as measured by rebound tonometry. J Zoo Wildl Med. 2014;45:664–667.


Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

Rodrigo S. Garcés Torres, DVM
Safari Game Search Foundation DBA Wildlife Safari
Winston, OR, USA

MAIN : Avian Pathology II : Phacoemulsification of Flamingo Cataract
Powered By VIN