Objective—To report values for tear production, central corneal touch threshold (CTT), and intraocular pressure (IOP) in healthy guinea pigs and determine results of aerobic bacterial culture and cytologic examination of conjunctival swab specimens.
Animals—31 healthy guinea pigs (62 eyes) of various ages and breeds.
Procedures—Tear production was measured by the phenol red thread tear test (PRT) and Schirmer tear test (STT) before and after topical anesthetic application, CTT was measured with an esthesiometer, and IOP was measured by applanation tonometry.
Results—Combining data from all eyes, mean ± SD PRT values before and after topical anesthetic administration were 21.26 ± 4.19 mm/15 s and 22.47 ± 3.31 mm/15 s, respectively, and mean IOP was 18.27 ± 4.55 mm Hg. Median STT values before and after topical anesthetic administration were 3 mm/min (range, 0 to 12 mm/min) and 4 mm/min (range, 0 to 11 mm/min), respectively, and median CTT was 2.0 cm (range, 0.5 to 3.0 cm). Values did not differ between eyes for any test, but significant differences were identified for PRT values between males and females and between values obtained before and after topical anesthetic administration. Common bacterial isolates included Corynebacterium spp, Streptococcus spp, and Staphylococcus spp. Cytologic examination of conjunctival swab specimens revealed mainly basal epithelial cells; lymphocytes were common.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results provided information on values for PRT, STT, CTT, and IOP in healthy guinea pigs and on expected findings for aerobic bacterial culture and cytologic examination of conjunctival swab specimens.