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Ocular emergencies in the dog and cat: part 1



The aim of the two articles in this series is to describe common conditions of the eye and adnexa in canine and feline patients that require urgent action to avoid loss of vision or even loss of the globe. Most ocular emergencies are painful, with analgesia and sometimes sedation required to facilitate examination (topical analgesia with local anaesthetic may be sufficient). A full ocular examination should be performed, with physical examination for other injuries. Where possible tests such as the Schirmer tear test, intraocular pressure measurement, visual reflex testing and fluorescein staining should be included. Ocular ultrasound may also be necessary in cases with opaque ocular media. Using the findings of examination the practitioner can develop a diagnostic and therapeutic plan to stabilise the globe in the emergency situation with the aim to return comfort and preserve vision long term.