The similarity between eyes of different species means that the basic techniques of ocular examination can be extrapolated from those of dogs and cats.
The differences generally occur because of the small size of many exotic species eyes, although some anatomical variations such as the fusion of eyelids covering the cornea (spectacle) in snakes and some species of geckos and skinks need to be borne in mind.
Any ocular examination needs to start with a distance examination to assess the globe, look for asymmetries, presence of discharges or signs of pain and assess the visual ability of the patient.
Reptiles have striated iridal muscles that allow voluntary control of pupil size. This not only complicates the assessment of pupillary light reflexes but also requires the use of general anaesthesia or intracameral injections of curariform drugs to achieve pupil dilatation.
Two key tests which should be undertaken as routine supplementation to straightforward ocular examination are the measurement of tear production and the determination of intraocular pressure.
To find out more on this topic, watch out for the Webinar Vet’s latest webinar on Ophthalmology of exotic pets by Ron Ofri DVM PhD DipECVO on Thursday 20th February 2020 at 8.30 pm.
For further information on Ophthalmology of Exotic pets check out this related content available on Vetlexicon Exotis: