Medical and Surgical Management of Severe Blepharitis and Dacryoadenitis in a Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2008
Nancy Boedeker1, DVM; Nancy Bromberg2, VMD, MS, DACVO; Brenda Morgan1; Timothy Walsh1, DVM, DACVP; Suzan Murray1, DVM, DACZM
1Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park, Washington, DC, USA; 2SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Center, Fairfax, VA, USA


A 10-year-old male giant panda presented for severe, acute proliferation and protrusion of the right third eyelid, non-responsive to topical therapy. Excisional biopsy of the third eyelid and associated lacrimal gland was elected due to necrosis and friability of the tissue. Histopathology revealed suppurative, necrotizing blepharitis, and suppurative dacryoadenitis. Culture grew Enterococcus spp. and Stenotrophomonas maltophila with extensive antibiotic resistance. Topical aminoglycoside treatment was discontinued based on sensitivities. Treatment was initiated with neomycin/polymyxin B/gramicidin ophthalmic solution (Neocidin, Major Pharmaceuticals, Livonia, MI, USA) OD BID × 10 days, 25 mg/ml doxycycline ophthalmic solution (Franck’s Pharmacy, Ocala, FL, USA) OD BID × 10 days, and doxycycline (West-ward Pharmaceutical, Eatontown, NJ, USA) 4.9 mg/kg PO BID × 10 days. All treatments were well tolerated. Healing was uncomplicated with no recurrence of the lesion and no clinical evidence of keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Ophthalmic exam performed opportunistically 3 months postoperatively was unremarkable with Schirmer tear test results (9 mm OS, 11.5 mm OD) similar in both eyes and within the satisfactory range for domestic animals, confirming that excision of the lacrimal gland did not cause appreciable detrimental effects.3

The etiology of this third eyelid lesion remains undetermined, but trauma is suspected. Ocular changes described in the giant panda include keratoconjuctivitis, corneal ulceration, retinal degeneration, lenticular sclerosis, and neoplasia.1 A non-invasive hemangiosarcoma was excised from the ocular limbus of a giant panda.2 To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of third eyelid excision in the giant panda.

Literature Cited

1.  Loeffler KI, Montali RJ, Rideout BA. Diseases and pathology of giant pandas. In: Wildt DE, Zhang A, Zhang H, Janssen DL, Ellis S, eds. Giant Pandas: Biology, Veterinary Medicine and Management. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press; 2006:377–409.

2.  Lopez M, Talavera C, Rest JR, Taylor D. Haemangiosarcoma of the conjunctiva of a giant panda. Vet Rec. 1996;138(1):24.

3.  Severin GA. Lacrimal apparatus. In: Severin’s Veterinary Ophthalmology Notes, 3rd ed. Atlanta, GA: DesignPointe Communications Inc.; 1996:223–247.


Speaker Information
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Nancy Boedeker, DVM
Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park
Washington D.C., USA

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