Natalie King, Third Year MVB Student - Case Report Published

Natalie King, a third year Veterinary Medicine student, has had a case report published in BEMS (Biology, Engineering, Medicine and Science) Reports.  The case report, titled ‘Ovine Infraorbital (Preorbital) Pouch: An Unusual Presentation in a Male Lamb,’ came about as a result of Natalie’s extra mural studies work on a farm in Co Leitrim.  

Natalie is from Westport, Co. Mayo and is currently finishing third year undergraduate Veterinary Medicine.  Although she doesn’t come from a farming background, Natalie has a real interest in large animals and thoroughly enjoyed completing her pre-clinical EMS on dairy, beef and sheep farms.  As part of her EMS in second year, she went lambing on a farm in Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim with Charles Golden. Charles has a flock of 750 ewes, managed in lots of 250. While there, Natalie noticed what looked like skin flaps in the preorbital region on one of the lambs.  She took some photos and asked David Kilroy (Lecturer/Assistant Professor in the Veterinary Biosciences Section) to look at them during a second year anatomy practical; as he had just co-authored an embryology book, Natalie hoped he'd know the answer!  Natalie was delighted that David took a real interest in the case and really went above and beyond helping her to find an answer, and encouraging her to do some research and write up a case report.  And a year later, the case report has now been published. This is a huge achievement - congratulations to Natalie from all at the School of Veterinary Medicine. In terms of future plans, with third year drawing to a close, Natalie is still not sure what area she’d like to work in after college; she really enjoyed this particular experience but she also loves working with small animals and horses too so mixed practice seems most likely.

Ovine Infraorbital (Preorbital) Pouch: An Unusual Presentation in a Male Lamb

The infraorbital (preorbital) pouch is a conspicuous cutaneous structure present in many ruminant species, including deer, sheep and goats.  The paired pouches are located rostral to the medial canthus of each eye and contain both sebaceous glands and sweat glands. The characteristics of these glands have been well documented in deer species but there has been relatively little research into their structure or function in sheep. They seem to have a somewhat sporadic occurrence and appear more often in rams than in ewes. As their secretions are largely sebaceous, it has been suggested that these glands secrete pheromones which aid in olfactory communication and is probably associated with dominant behaviour. Natalie’s report refers to the occurrence of prominent bilateral folds within the infraorbital pouches of a 10-day-old lamb.

The full Case Report can be accessed here: (Natalie King, Arun HS Kumar [Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Veterinary Biosciences Section] and David Kilroy [Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Veterinary Biosciences Section])