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Breed differences on Schirmer tear test
The Schirmer tear test is one of the standard parameters in every eye examination. A group from Colorado evaluated if there were breed specific differences in healthy dogs and how topical anesthesia might also influence the results.

This study tries to evaluate, for clinically normal dogs, results of Schirmer tear tests in eyes without topical anesthetic (STT) and to detect differences associated with breed, sex, age, day, and time of day in eyes in which STT was performed after use of topical anesthetic (STTa). 41 Beagles, 43 Labrador Retrievers, 25 Golden Retrievers, 26 English Springer Spaniels, and 22 Shetland Sheepdogs were included.

Beagles had STT and STTa values measured twice daily for 5 days. Client-owned dogs of 4 other breeds had STT and STTa values measured once.

Mean +/- SD values of Beagles for STT and STTa were 20.2 +/- 2.5 and 3.8 +/- 2.7 mm/min.
Mean values for STT and STTa were as follows: Labrador Retriever, 22.9 +/- 4.1 and 9.6 +/- 3.8 mm/min; English Springer Spaniel; 20.7 +/- 3.2 and 5.4 +/- 3.4 mm/min; Golden Retriever, 21.8 + 3.7 and 8.8 +/- 3.1 mm/min; and Shetland Sheepdog, 15.8 +/- 1.8 and 3.6 +/- 2.8 mm/min. Overall mean values for STT and STTa were 20.2 +/- 3.0 and 6.2 +/- 3.1 mm/min.

Differences for STT and STTa were detected among breeds, but significant differences were not associated with sex or age within each breed or in overall values for all dogs.

Results for the STT reported here compare favorably with reported values, except for results of Shetland Sheepdogs; however, results for the STTa differ dramatically from reported values.
Clinicians should consider effects attributable to breed when evaluating results of STT and STTa in dogs.


Source: Hamor RE, Roberts SM, Severin GA, Chavkin MJ (2000): Evaluation of results for Schirmer tear tests conducted with and without application of a topical anesthetic in clinically normal dogs of 5 breeds. In: Am J Vet Res 2000 Nov;61(11):1422-5



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