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Keywords:

  • dogs;
  • eyes;
  • infrared thermography;
  • keratoconjunctivitis sicca;
  • Schirmer tear test

Abstract

Infrared thermography was used to measure temperature differences of the corneal surface between nasal and temporal limbus regions and central cornea of normal dogs and dogs with keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), in order to establish temperature values in normal canine eyes and in patients with decreased Schirmer tear tests (STT) values. Dogs investigated were all either patients seen at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Federal University of Paraná or normal dogs that belonged to the same institution. STT were performed in all eyes. A total of 40 control eyes (STT ≥15 mm/min) and 20 eyes with low STT values (STT ≤14 mm/min) were examined. The mean STT value for eyes with normal STT values was 22.9 ± 3.9 mm/min (mean ± standard deviation), and the mean STT value for eyes with low STT value was 7.2 ± 4.8 mm/min. The mean corneal temperature was significantly lower in eyes with low STT values than in control eyes (< 0.0001). The following significant correlations were found: (i) Schirmer and breakup time (BUT) (= 0.0001, = 0.5); (ii) STT values and corneal surface temperature (= 0.001, = 0.256); (iii) STT values and age (= 0.0001, = −0.448); (iv) age and corneal surface temperature (= 0.0001, = −0.281); and (v) BUT and corneal surface temperature (= 0.0001, = 0.36). Thermography is a method that can differentiate between eyes with normal and abnormal STT values. In the future, thermography might be incorporated as part of the ophthalmic examination and perhaps become a popular ancillary test for the diagnoses of ocular surface disorders.