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Tear production and intraocular pressure in canine eyes with corneal ulceration

David L. Williams, Philippa Burg


This study aimed to evaluate changes in lacrimation and intraocular pressure (IOP) in dogs with unilateral corneal ulceration using the Schirmer tear test (STT) and rebound (TonoVet®) tonometry. IOP and STT values were recorded in both ulcerated and non-ulcerated (control) eyes of 100 dogs diagnosed with unilateral corneal ulceration. Dogs presented with other ocular conditions as their primary complaint were excluded from this study. The mean ± standard deviation for STT values in the ulcerated and control eyes were 20.2±4.6 mm/min and 16.7±3.5 mm/min respectively. The mean ± standard deviation for IOP in the ulcerated and control eyes were 11.9±3.1 mmHg and 16.7±2.6 mmHg respectively. STT values were significantly higher (p<0.000001) in the ulcerated eye compared to the control eye while IOP was significantly lower (p<0.0001). There is an increase in lacrimation and a decrease in IOP in canine eyes with corneal ulceration. The higher tear production in ulcerated eyes shows the importance of measuring STT in both eyes in cases of corneal ulceration, since this increased lacrimation may mask an underlying keratoconjunctivitis sicca only evident in the contralateral eye. The lower IOP in ulcerated eyes is likely to relate to mild uveitic change in the ulcerated eye with a concomitant increase in uveoscleral aqueous drainage. While these changes in tear production and IOP in ulcerated eyes are widely recognised in both human and veterinary ophthalmology, it appears that this is the first controlled documented report of these changes in a large number of individuals.

Keywords: Corneal ulcer; Dog, Intraocular pressure, Tear production.
AJOL African Journals Online