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A 7-month-old hand-reared female Bennett’s wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) was evaluated for bilateral ocular opacity of 3 months’ duration.


On physical examination, the wallaby was in good overall condition. An ophthalmic examination revealed mature cataracts in both eyes (OU). The cataracts were suspected to have a nutritional origin as it has been described in hand-reared macropods. Results of tonometry were normal OU. Results of CBC and serum biochemistry were unremarkable. The wallaby was premedicated with medetomidine and ketamine hydrochloride. Ocular ultrasonography performed while the wallaby was anesthetized revealed a thickened and opaque lens, mildly heterogeneous vitreous humor, and no sign of retinal detachment OU. An electroretinogram confirmed functional retinae OU.


Surgery was considered necessary for welfare reasons. Phacoemulsification and vitrectomy were performed without intraoperative complication. The wallaby recovered uneventfully, and systemic NSAID, topical corticosteroid, and systemic and topical antimicrobial therapy were prescribed. One year later, the animal had vision OU. Physical examination did not show any vision-threatening postoperative complications.


The etiology of nutritional cataracts is not fully understood in macropods, but this condition is rather common in these species. To our knowledge, this is the first detailed report of a successful bilateral phacoemulsification and vitrectomy in a Bennett’s wallaby.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association