A male yearling harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) stranded and was brought to Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration's Seal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. The seal presented with a bilateral pendular vertical nystagmus, negative menace response, and a positive palpebral response. Ophthalmological examination by slit lamp biomicroscopy revealed perilimbal corneal edema, excessive iridal surface structures, pupils that appeared to be shaped improperly (dyscoria), and suspected cataracts. Attempts to dilate the pupils with both dark-lighted conditions and repeated dosages of 10% phenylephrine and 1% atropine ophthalmic solution in each eye (OU) were unsuccessful. Ocular ultrasonography findings suggested bilateral cataracts with flattened anterior-posterior (A-P) diameter and possible persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous. It is possible that these structural congenital abnormalities could produce further ocular complications for this seal including uveitis, secondary glaucoma, retinal detachment, and/or vitreal hemorrhage in the future. This case demonstrates the importance of a thorough ophthalmological examination in stranded wild animals, especially if their symptoms appear neurological.
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