Vets Save Komodo Dragon’s Vision

Vets Save Komodo Dragon’s Vision

Giant lizard at Cincinnati Zoo undergoes double cataract surgery.

The Cincinnati Zoo’s Komodo dragon, Hudo, had a successful double-cataract surgery to restore his eyesight last week, WLWT reports.

On Nov. 19, a five-person team took Hudo to MedVet Cincinnati, where he underwent double-cataract surgery.

“We noticed cloudiness in his left eye and less than two weeks later his right eye also became cloudy,” Cincinnati Zoo reptile keeper Ryan Dumas told WLWT. “He stopped reacting to movement, and his behavior changed dramatically. It was evident that he could not see.”

Zoo officials said the 17-year-old Komodo dragon knows his habitat well enough to get around without sight, but Komodo dragons are highly visual animals, SO his care team agreed that being blind would have a severe impact on his quality of life.

Dr. Vanessa Kuonen Cavens, an ophthalmologist from MedVet, later confirmed that the cloudy obstructions in Hudo’s eyes were cataracts and that corrective surgery was possible. Zoo officials said it was clear that the risk of the procedure was worth the desired outcome.

“I love restoring and preserving the gift of sight for all my patients and was excited to partner with the Cincinnati Zoo to share my expertise and passion,” said Dr. Vanessa Kuonen Cavens, an ophthalmologist from MedVet. “Hudo is the most unique animal on whom I’ve performed cataract surgery. We had a great team from the Cincinnati Zoo. … Because of our collaboration, Hudo can see again!”

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