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1 March 2018 SELECTED OPHTHALMIC PARAMETERS AND POTENTIAL RISK FOR LIGHT-INDUCED CATARACTS IN TWO COLONIES OF CAPTIVE INDIAN FLYING FOXES (PTEROPUS GIGANTEUS)
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Abstract

Indian flying foxes (Pteropus giganteus) are adapted to visual foraging in dim light. Nine Indian flying foxes were taken from a captive colony of 25 animals and placed in quarantine, off exhibit, in preparation for shipment to another institution. The exhibit had indirect, natural sunlight and was large enough to allow for flight. The quarantine enclosure was subject to >12 hr/day artificial lighting and did not allow for flight or gliding. Diet was identical between groups. After 13 mo, ophthalmic examination was performed on each animal including evaluation of the anterior chamber, rebound tonometry in upright and hanging positions, measurement of palpebral fissure length, and vertical and horizontal corneal diameters. Bilateral cataracts were observed in 55% (5/9) of the quarantined animals but in none of the animals that remained on exhibit (0/16). Bats housed in the quarantine enclosure had a risk of having cataracts 18 times greater than did bats in the exhibit enclosure (relative risk [RR]: 18.70; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.15–303.77). There was no association between cataract presence and age (odds ratio [OR]: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.97–1.02; P = 0.7) or sex (OR: 1.24; 95% CI: 0.17–9.25), but lower body weight was associated with presence of cataracts (OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96–0.99). Other ophthalmic parameters observed were similar to those previously reported for other captive Megachiroptera. This study suggests that chronic exposure to artificial lighting predisposes fruit bats to developing light-induced cataracts.

Copyright 2018 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Peter M. DiGeronimo, Simone R. R. Pisano, Nicola Di Girolamo, Carl F. Spielvogel, Gordon J. Pirie, and Rene Carter "SELECTED OPHTHALMIC PARAMETERS AND POTENTIAL RISK FOR LIGHT-INDUCED CATARACTS IN TWO COLONIES OF CAPTIVE INDIAN FLYING FOXES (PTEROPUS GIGANTEUS)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 49(1), 129-133, (1 March 2018). https://doi.org/10.1638/2017-0118R1.1
Accepted: 1 December 2017; Published: 1 March 2018
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