Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ophtho Exams!

My favorite part of vet school is our practical lab that we have 2 or 3 times a week. This is the time when we get to polish our physical exam skills on real, live, warm, fuzzy animals. We usually have one small animal lab and one large animal lab every week, and everybody has to do everything. A few weeks ago, we were learning small animal eye exams. Everyone is used to seeing a direct fundic exam, where the doctor looks through an ophthalmoscope to see into the back of your eye (the fundus). There is also an indirect exam, where you use the tapetum (the part of the eye that causes animal eyes to glow in your headlights) to reflect an image of the retina back out of the eye and into a magnifying lens.

You hold the light source back by your face, and the lens right next to the eye. When you see the reflection of the tapetum, you move the lens between the light and the eye, and an image of the retina jumps into the lens. It is trick to position the light and the lens, and the dogs don't like having a bright light shone in their eyes anymore than we do, but when you get it to work, it's beautiful.

I also think the indirect exam is cool because it's simple, and kind of old-fashioned.

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