How I approach… Canine ocular emergencies
Ophthalmic emergencies are commonly seen by the small animal practitioner and can be said to include any ophthalmic condition that has rapidly developed or is the result of trauma to the eye and/or periocular structures.
Ophthalmic emergencies are commonly seen in small animal practice, and with proper treatment most cases can be stabilized until consultation with, or referral to, a veterinary ophthalmologist is possible.
Minimal equipment is necessary to perform a complete ophthalmic exam and the clinician should strive to acquire the “minimum ophthalmic database” to best diagnose and treat ophthalmic patients, although occasionally an aspect of the exam may need to be forfeited due to circumstances.
Components of the minimum ophthalmic database include: menace response, direct and consensual pupillary light reflex, palpebral reflex, Schirmer tear test, fluorescein stain, and tonometry.