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  • Author or Editor: Steven R. Hollingsworth x
  • Ophthalmology x
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Objective—To measure the dimensions of the eyes of living snakes by use of high-frequency ultrasound imaging and correlate those measurements with age, length, and weight.

Animals—14 clinically normal snakes.

Procedures—Species, age, length, weight, and horizontal spectacle diameter were recorded, and each snake underwent physical and ophthalmic examinations; ultrasonographic examination of both eyes was performed by use of a commercially available ultrasound unit and a 50-MHz transducer. Ultrasonographic measurements included spectacle thickness, subspectacular space depth, corneal thickness, anterior chamber depth, lens thickness, vitreous cavity depth, and globe length. All measurements were made along the visual axis.

Results—2 corn snakes, 5 California king snakes, 1 gopher snake, and 6 ball pythons were examined. There were no significant differences within or between the species with regard to mean spectacle thickness, corneal thickness, or subspectacular space depth. However, mean horizontal spectacle diameter, anterior chamber depth, and axial globe length differed among the 4 species; for each measurement, ball pythons had significantly larger values than California king snakes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Spectacle thickness, subspectacular space depth, and corneal thickness were similar among the species of snake examined and did not vary significantly with age, length, or weight. Measurements of these dimensions can potentially serve as baseline values to evaluate snakes of these species with a retained spectacle, subspectacular abscess, or subspectacular fluid accumulation. Anterior chamber depth and axial length appeared variable among species, but axial length did not vary with age, length, or weight in the species studied.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To measure the effect of induced myopia on field trial performance in dogs.

Animals—7 Labrador Retrievers and 1 Chesapeake Bay Retriever trained in field trial competition.

Procedures—Dogs were commanded to retrieve targets at 137.2 m (150 yards). Each dog participated in 3 trials while their eyes were fitted with 0- (plano), +1.50-, or +3.00-diopter (D) contact lenses, applied in random order. Retrieval times were measured objectively, and dog performances were evaluated subjectively by masked judges.

Results—Retrieval times were significantly faster with plano lenses than with +1.50- or +3.00-D lenses, but there were no significant differences in times between +1.50- and +3.00-D lenses. Masked judges assigned the best performance scores to dogs with plano lenses and the lowest scores to dogs fitted with +3.00-D lenses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Even mild myopic defocusing had a significant negative impact on both the subjective and objective assessments of dogs' performances. Dogs with demanding visual tasks or signs of visual deterioration should be evaluated retinoscopically to determine the refractive state because they may have ametropia.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research