Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Schirmer tear test

Contributor(s): Ralph Hamor, Alison B Clode

Introduction

  • Method of measuring the amount of aqueous portion of the tear film produced per unit time.
  • Tears produced cause wetting of standard test strips due to basal and reflex tearing (when performing traditional STT, or STT I).

Uses

  • Method of diagnosis of hyposecretion by the tear glands. 
  • Detection of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) Keratoconjunctivitis sicca
  • Post-treatment evaluation of parasympathomimetic and lacrimogenic agents.

Advantages

  • Simple and rapid test.

Disadvantages

  • Some normal animals may have a low STT. Need to correlate results with clinical signs and test suspicious animals frequently to monitor for trends.
  • Some animals with deficiencies in the two other portions of the tear film (lipid and mucin) may have normal STT, but may still benefit from tear replacement therapy.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Margadant D L, Kirkby K, Andrew S E et al (2003) Effect of topical tropicamide on tear production as measured by Schirmer tear test in normal cats and dogs. Vet Ophthalmol (4), 315 - 320 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Gelatt K N, Gilger B C, Kern T (eds) (2013) Ocular Examination and Diagnostic techniques. In:Veterinary Ophthalmology. 5th edn. John Wiley & Sons, Ames, Iowa.
  • Severin G A (1996) Examination of the Eye. In:Severin's Veterinary Ophthalmology Notes.3rd edn.
  • Moore C P (1990) Qualitative Tear Film Disease. In:Veterinary Clinics of North America - Small Animal Practice. Small Animal Ophthalmology.Millichamp & Dziezyc (eds).


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