Henry - Persian Cat with Meibomian Gland Disease
|My colleagues may be surprised to know that I am quite prepared to admit in print that I don't actually know everything! If there is one thing I have learned over the years is that the more you know the more you realise there is so much more that you don't know. Consequently, it is not that uncommon for me to be presented with a case that I have never seen before nor do I fully comprehend what in fact the diagnosis might be. Fortunately, with our scientific training there is a protocol or series of steps that we can follow in an effort to gain further insight to the presenting problem.|
"Henry" the Persian cat posed such a conundrum. His owners had noticed a number of small protuberances present on his lower eyelid. These three well defined pink swellings had failed to respond to treatment of my initial tentative diagnosis of an infection. Further diagnostic tests would be required to glean further information on these peculiar lesions.
Henry's eyeThe spectre of cancer in all it's manifestations always looms in these situations and biopsy becomes imperative. Biopsy of any particular tissue provides its own problems. Whilst minimally invasive techniques can avoid the patient requiring anaesthesia they can often still leave unanswered questions as the pathologists struggle to make sense of the submitted samples.
Larger tissue samples make the laboratory's job easier but great care has to be taken in avoiding damaging the area of interest which in Henry's case was his lower eyelid. . . not much room for manoeuvre. Using special magnifying lenses I was able to slice through the area of interest and avoid any permanent damage to "Henry's" eyelid. . . much to his owners' relief! The wait for results is always a tense affair but fortunately for all concerned, especially "Henry", the news was good. The condition was a severe form of meibomian gland disease resulting in a marked inflammatory response. Long term medication would be required but the condition should be managed successfully. . . providing we keep an eye on it!
BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS