Sheltie Mix Anterior Lens Luxation
A ten-year-old Sheltie mix names Trixie blindly sniffed in my direction. She appeared perfectly normal until you focussed on her eyes. Bilateral cataracts had taken Trixie’s sight years before. Today, I saw a new problem.
The lens in her left eye had slipped from behind the brown iris to the front (anterior) aqueous chamber of her eye. The lens looked like a white slippery bouncy ball, jiggling every time Trixie tilted her head. Normally, the torn cilia muscles that hold the lens would send out incredible pain signals causing blinking, squinting, and tearing of the eye.
Trixie didn’t care. Her right eye sported a blood spatter on the backside of the tippy-top of the clear cornea window which makes up the front of the eye. No doubt, the right lens stretched and wrenched at its anchors attempting to join its left compatriot in lens limbo in the forbidden anterior chamber.
Usually, emergency eye surgery to remove the useless, painfully positioned lenses commences urgently. Sometimes a doctor must adjust her beliefs about what may be best for the patient. In Trixie’s case, she experienced no pain. Therefore, no surgery!
In the pictures, her left eye, on your right, contains the anterior lens luxation. Rarely can this lens be seen in a picture because the cornea becomes so irritated by the lens behind it that it turns a blue-white color from fluid build-up within the cell layers (corneal edema).
Trixie’s right eye (on your left) holds a cataract. The cataract also appears white, but it is peeking through the pupil in the lens, not an oval form in front of it compared to the left eye.