An Ostrich's eye is five times bigger than a human's, so when Werribee Open Range Zoo resident Blinkie developed a mysterious infection, big machinery was needed.
The female ostrich was taken to the University of Melbourne's U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital for a specialist CT scan capable of producing a three-dimensional image of the large eye.
It was one of the first in Australia for an ostrich under anaesthetic.
The five-year-old bird was born with a congenital issue that caused a deformity of the lower left eyelid.
Werribee Open Range Zoo Veterinarian Brett Gardner said an animal's eyelids play an essential role in protecting the delicate eyes and tissue around them.
"After our initial assessments, we were confident an infection was hiding within the skull, behind the eye, and the only way to be sure was to create a three-dimensional image of her head," Dr Gardiner said.
The CT scan discovered an abscess hiding deep behind her eye.
After a course of antibiotics, the abscess reduced in size and drained naturally without the need for invasive surgeries.
Blinkie has now returned to her flock that resides on the Zoo's Savannah.
Zookeepers are continuing to monitor her eye health and provide a topical ointment to prevent reinfection.
The Ostrich is the world's largest bird, standing as tall as 2.7 metres. While they cannot physically fly, they use their wings like rudders to balance, steer and change direction
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.