Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Vets save tiger's eye in first operation of its kind
The hood graft procedure (pictured) lasted just 30 minutes.

17-year-old Ratna given hood graft to treat ulcerated eye.

Veterinary surgeons have saved a tiger's eye in what is believed to be the first operation of its kind performed on a big cat.

Sumatran tiger Ratna, who lives at Shepreth Wildlife Park, had previously undergone surgery in 2019 to remove a cataract and was being given eye drops daily. In February, while performing this task, keepers noticed that Ratna's left eye was discoloured and contacted veterinary eye specialist Steve Philp from the International Zoo Veterinary Group.

The 17-year-old tiger underwent a minor procedure under anaesthetic to treat her eye, but this was unfortunately ineffective and Ratna's eye continued to deteriorate.

Specialist Dr David Williams from Cambridge University Vet School was contacted to examine Ratna and the very next day carried out what is believed to be the world's first hood graft procedure on a big cat, assisted by Dr Philp.

The procedure took just 30 minutes, with surgeons securing a flap of conjunctiva over the cornea, in order to let it heal itself. The team at Shepreth were concerned about an older cat being anaesthetised twice in the same week, but both veterinary surgeons assured them that this was the only way Ratna's eyesight could be saved.

The tiger was walking around her enclosure within an hour after the procedure and, after careful monitoring over the next few weeks, has now been given the all-clear.

"Her co-ordination seems much better now,” Shepreth Wildlife Park's director Rebecca Willers told the BBC, “and the best thing is the operation has eradicated the need for Ratna to have her eye drops - and she was never that keen on those.”

Images (c) Shepreth Wildlife Park.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

VetCT app offered to students and new graduates

News Story 1
 The VetCT app is being offered for free to students and new veterinary graduates for their first three months in practice. The app provides a service for vets to send case information to a global team of Diploma-holding specialists, who can provide advice and support via instant call-back, text chat, written report, or virtual appointment.

Time on the app is automatically logged as CPD with quarterly certificates being generated for users. Additional services include the ability to book bespoke CPD, significant event reviews, and live training sessions such as surgical procedures.

The app is downloadable for both iOS and Android systems. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
HORIBA to host CPD webinar

HORIBA has announced that it will host an online CPD meeting focusing on 'Exotic Parasites - The Importance of Testing in The Imported Dog'. Ian Wright (BVMS, MSc, MRCVS), head of ESCCAP UK and Ireland, will present on the importance of testing protocols in diseases of imported dogs.

The meeting will provide attendees with an overview of emerging veterinary diseases with a particular focus on exotic parasites, and discuss the importance of accurate testing protocols and equipment, alongside a final Q&A session.

The webinar will take place on Thursday July 1, from 19.30pm to 21.00pm BST. For free registration and more information visit the Horiba website or