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Vet Ophthalmol. 2003 Mar;6(1):11-3.

Symblepharon with aberrant protrusion of the nictitating membrane in the snowy owl (Nyctea scandiaca).

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  • 1Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB3 OES, UK.


Two young snowy owl chicks were presented with aberrant protrusion of the nictitating membranes. This was caused by conjunctival adhesions causing symblepharon secondary to a previous septicemia episode. While symblepharon has been noted in birds before, this unusual presentation of the nictitating membrane has not been reported. Surgical intervention ameliorated the clinical signs, allowing vision in one bird by removal of the nictitating membranes, a technique which appeared to have no deleterious effects on the ocular surface.

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