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Mammals (other)
Eyelid agenesis and multiple ocular defects in a captive cheetah cub (Acinonyx jubatus)
  1. Christie Jacoba Boucher1,
  2. Izak J Venter1,
  3. Didi Janse van Rensburg2 and
  4. Lynelle Sweers3
  1. 1Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University on Pretoria, Onderstepoort, Gauteng, South Africa
  2. 2Department of Paraclinical Studies, Section of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa
  3. 3Specalist Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Services, Pretoria, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christie Jacoba Boucher, christie.boucher{at}


This case report describes bilateral eyelid agenesis with multiple ocular defects in a captive bred, cheetah cub (Acinonyx jubatus). The ocular defects included a dermoid, bilateral, immature posterior cortical cataracts, persistent pupillary membranes, optic nerve coloboma and choroidal hypoplasia. These anomalies resemble the multiple colobomatous syndrome described in the snow leopard, Texas cougar and domestic cat. There are numerous speculations as to the cause and mechanisms of multiple ocular and periocular defects in wild and domestic felids. The genetic pool of the cheetah species is very small and theoretically limited gene pools are prone to genetic abnormalities. However, an intrauterine cause can't be excluded in this isolated case.

  • Acinonyx jubatus
  • cataract
  • cheetah
  • coloboma
  • dermoid
  • eyelid agenesis
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