Two California sea lions have relocated to Georgia Aquarium from a companion facility in Texas. Six-year-old Alex and five-year-old Josie have been deemed non-releasable by the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) after it was decided they’d not have the ability to survive on their very own. Sadly, Alex had a cataract in his left eye, whereas Josie had cataracts in each eyes. Cataracts can impair imaginative and prescient and will impression a sea lion’s survival within the ocean as a result of it makes it harder to seek for meals and keep away from predators.
Six-year-old Alex previous to surgical procedure
5-year-old Josie previous to surgical procedure
Our groups centered on establishing a constructive relationship with the ocean lions and constructing mutual belief with them as they settled into their new residence. This belief is essential as a result of it helps our groups facilitate medical associated behaviors permitting us to offer the very best care doable. For instance, Alex and Josie discovered goal coaching to assist them obtain eye drops and tactile coaching to acclimate them to bodily exams.
Alex practices receiving eye drops in preparation for surgical procedure
After the ocean lions grew to become extra snug with our groups, it was time to securely consider their particular person cataracts underneath anesthesia with a specialist. This was performed to evaluate the severity of the cataracts, if their imaginative and prescient could possibly be improved, and the very best remedy for every sea lion.
Georgia Aquarium workers veterinarian Dr. Michelle Davis critiques a radiograph of Alex’s cranium throughout pre-surgical diagnostics.
Underneath anesthesia, Alex’s left eye is imaged by consulting veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Carmen Colitz to guage imaginative and prescient prognosis.
Upon additional examination, it was found that Alex and Josie every had a indifferent retina – Alex in his left eye together with his cataract and Josie in her proper eye together with her cataract. Josie’s left eye with a cataract was small and didn’t require surgical intervention however will likely be monitored for the remainder of her life. The indifferent retina found in Alex and Josie resulted in irreparable blindness in these eyes. After cautious consideration of all choices, the choice was made to take away the severely broken eyes to reduce any likelihood of an infection, discomfort, or problems.
Consulting veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Carmen Colitz performs surgical procedure on Josie’s proper eye.
Following the success of the surgical procedures, Alex and Josie have recovered remarkably and are persevering with to bond with their fellow sea lions and caretakers.
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