AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy was referred for evaluation of tarantula hairs in his right eye. Three months previously he first noticed right eye irritation immediately after playing with his pet tarantula. He had seen 3 physicians during the 2 months before he was correctly diagnosed and treated.
Anterior segment examination revealed multiple opacities and hairs at all levels of the cornea (Figure 1). Hairs that had advanced to the endothelium were visible within mutton-fat keratitic precipitates. The anterior chamber had cells (1+). Posterior segment examination revealed several small grayish white retinal infiltrates and a snowman-shaped lesion extending from the retina into the inferior vitreous (Figure 2).
Shrum KR, Robertson DM, Baratz KH, Casperson TJ, Rostvold JA. Keratitis and Retinitis Secondary to Tarantula Hair. Arch Ophthalmol. 1999;117(8):1096-1097. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.8.1096