Cryptococcus gattii chorioretinitis in a ferret.Vet Ophthalmol. 2011 Jul; 14(4):262-6.VO
Bilateral exudative chorioretinitis was diagnosed in an 18-month-old male neutered ferret (Mustela putorius furo) with a generalized Cryptococcus gattii infection confirmed by PCR. The animal was referred to the Ophthalmology Service of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (VTH-UAB) for acute onset blindness. Complete ophthalmic examination revealed absent menace response and dazzle reflex in both eyes (OU), as well as subretinal edema located in the tapetal fundus. At that time, the clinical ophthalmologic diagnosis was bilateral exudative chorioretinitis. Treatment with prednisone (0.5 mg/kg PO q24 h) was instituted in addition to the ongoing treatment with fluconazole (10 mg/kg PO q24 h). The following rechecks revealed secondary cataracts with subsequent lens subluxation and panretinal degeneration OU. Despite being blind and the poor prognosis of disseminate cryptococcosis, the patient remained active and in good body condition during 6 months after the initial diagnosis. At that time, the ferret showed ataxia, incontinence, and generalized pain. A magnetic resonance imaging study revealed a mass affecting the spine. The owners declined further investigations and the ferret was humanely euthanized. The postmortem histopathology confirmed the initial diagnosis of cryptococcosis and the presence of intraretinal Cryptococcus spp. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of Cryptococcus spp. induced exudative chorioretinitis in a ferret.