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OBJECTIVE To evaluate the use of rebound and applanation tonometry for the measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP) and to assess diurnal variations in and the effect of topical anesthesia on the IOP of healthy inland bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).

ANIMALS 56 bearded dragons from 4 months to 11 years old.

PROCEDURES For each animal following an initial ophthalmic examination, 3 IOP measurements were obtained on each eye between 9 AM and 10 AM, 1 PM and 2 PM, and 5 PM and 7 PM by use of rebound and applanation tonometry. An additional measurement was obtained by rebound tonometry for each eye in the evening following the application of a topical anesthetic to evaluate changes in the tolerance of the animals to the tonometer. Descriptive data were generated, and the effects of sex, time of day, and topical anesthesia on IOP were evaluated.

RESULTS Bearded dragons did not tolerate applanation tonometry even following topical anesthesia. Median daily IOP as determined by rebound tonometry was 6.16 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 5.61 to 6.44 mm Hg). The IOP did not differ significantly between the right and left eyes. The IOP was highest in the morning, which indicated that the IOP in this species undergoes diurnal variations. Topical anesthesia did not significantly affect IOP, but it did improve the compliance for all subjects.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that rebound tonometry, but not applanation tonometry, was appropriate for measurement of IOP in bearded dragons. These findings provided preliminary guidelines for IOP measurement and ophthalmic evaluation in bearded dragons.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research