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To establish reference values for the Schirmer tear test I (STT I), the phenol red thread tear test (PRTT), the intraocular pressure (IOP) with rebound tonometry, to determine the corneal sensitivity for healthy chinchillas, and to describe clinical aspects of normal chinchilla eyes.
One hundred and twenty-two eyes of 61 healthy pet chinchillas of different age and gender were investigated.
A full ophthalmic exam including slit lamp biomicroscopy, ophthalmoscopy, measurement of STT I, PRTT, determination of the corneal touch threshold (CTT), and the measurement of the IOP (TonoVet) was performed. The normal appearance of the lid, the iris, the lens, the fundus, and the optic nerve disc was evaluated. Results The results of the STT I were very low and not reliable, and the measurement was discontinued. The median value of PRTT was 14.0 mm wetting/15 s (mean 14.6 ± 3.5 mm wetting/15 s). The median CTT was 32.5 mm (mean 31.2 ± 7.0 mm) respectively 1.2 g/mm(2) (mean 1.5 ± 0.9 g/mm(2)). The median IOP was 3.0 mmHg (mean 2.9 ± 1.8 mmHg). The predominating iris color was brown. The fundus pigmentation varied. Few lens alteration were seen in otherwise healthy chinchilla eyes. Most chinchillas had myelinated discs. Optic nerve cupping was present in 62% of the animals.
Because of the small amount of tears, the PRT test is recommended for tear measurements in chinchillas. The IOP in chinchillas seems to be quiet is low in comparison to other rodents.