Microthalmia In A Pixie-Bob Kitten
Photos by Kornelia Surmann, Forest Hunter Pixie Bobs

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In the article titled Microthalmia, we discussed the causes and prognosis of the condition in which an eye (ophthalmia) does not grow to its full size and is smaller (micro) than it should be.

This is the story of a Pixie-Bob kitten named Glory that was born with this condition.

When Glory first opened her eyes, her concerned owner immediately realized something was wrong with her right eye.

After an initial examination by her local veterinarian, Glory's owner took the female kitten to an eye specialist, Dr. Thomas Sullivan, of the Animal Eye Clinic of Seattle, WA. Dr. Sullivan graduated from Cornell University and is a Diplomat in the American Veterinary Ophthamologist Association.

The results of his examination of the kitten revealed:

  • The larger eye is perfectly normal.
  • Confirmation of the original diagnosis of Microthalmia in the smaller eye.
  • The smaller eye has an incompletely developed cornea (square rather than round) plus some clouding of the cornea.
  • Glory has some vision in her smaller eye, although it is probably was limited to differentiating between light and dark and basic shapes. This explains why she could follow a moving toy quite easily.
  • Glory is at risk of developing glaucoma in the smaller eye as she grows older. She will have to be rechecked when she's 9-11 months old and after that should be rechecked annually.
  • Although some toxic environmental factors can cause this condition, a review of the owner's list of cleaning supplies ruled them out as a possible cause.
  • Dr. Thomas Sullivan felt that Glory's condition is not genetic in nature. Generally, if a cat has only one eye that is affected, it is considered a "fluke" of development. There is nothing one can do to prevent it and nothing that can be done to correct it. He also stated that if the condition is present in both eyes it would then have to be considered genetic.
  • The vet approved Glory's inclusion in a breeding program.

Below is a series of photos of Glory, the Pixie-Bob kitten with microthalmia.

The kitten, Glory, at 4 weeks old

Close-up showing the difference in development between the two eyes

Glory at 10 weeks of age.
The smaller eye has actually shown improvement.

Glory pictured at 10 weeks with her normal-eyed littermate

Glory at 14 weeks old

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