Clinical features of cats with aqueous tear deficiency: a retrospective case series of 10 patients (17 eyes)

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Saito, Akihiko
Iwashita, Hiroko
Mochel, Jonathan
Sebbag, Lionel
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Mochel, Jonathan
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Biomedical Sciences

The Department of Biomedical Sciences aims to provide knowledge of anatomy and physiology in order to understand the mechanisms and treatment of animal diseases. Additionally, it seeks to teach the understanding of drug-action for rational drug-therapy, as well as toxicology, pharmacodynamics, and clinical drug administration.

The Department of Biomedical Sciences was formed in 1999 as a merger of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology.

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  • College of Veterinary Medicine (parent college)
  • Department of Veterinary Anatomy (predecessor, 1997)
  • Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology (predecessor, 1997)

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Veterinary Clinical Sciences
The mission of the Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department and the Veterinary Medical Center is to be strong academically, to provide outstanding services, and to conduct research in the multiple areas of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Our goals are to teach students in the multiple disciplines of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, to provide excellent veterinary services to clients, and to generate and disseminate new knowledge in the areas of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Our objectives are to provide a curriculum in the various aspects of Veterinary Clinical Sciences which ensures students acquire the skills and knowledge to be successful in their chosen careers. We also strive to maintain a caseload of sufficient size and diversity which insures a broad clinical experience for students, residents, and faculty. In addition, we aim to provide clinical veterinary services of the highest standards to animal owners and to referring veterinarians. And finally, we strive to provide an environment and opportunities which foster and encourage the generation and dissemination of new knowledge in many of the disciplines of Veterinary Clinical Sciences.
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Biomedical SciencesVeterinary Clinical Sciences


The aim of this study was to describe the clinical findings, diagnostic test results and response to therapy of cats with Schirmer tear test 1 (STT-1) values below the reference interval.


The medical records of three institutions were searched for cats with ocular surface disease and STT-1 values/min, confirmed at two or more separate visits.


Ten cats (17 eyes) were included. The mean ± SD (range) age and STT-1 values in affected eye(s) were 6.1 ± 5.7 (0.2–16) years and 2.4 ± 3.1 (0–8) mm/min, respectively. Concurrent ocular surface disease was bilateral in 5/10 cats. Clinical signs included conjunctivitis (14/17 eyes), corneal ulceration (6/17 eyes), non-ulcerative keratitis (4/17 eyes), symblepharon (4/17 eyes), eosinophilic keratitis (3/17 eyes), corneal sequestrum (3/17 eyes), corneal fibrosis (2/17 eyes) and meibomitis (2/17 eyes). Management included topically applied lacrimomimetics, antiviral drugs, corticosteroids or immunomodulatory drugs; orally administered famciclovir; or surgical procedures, in various combinations. Response to therapy (defined as an increase in STT-1 value of ⩾5 mm/min) was transient (seen at a single reassessment) in 65% of eyes and sustained (seen at ⩾2 consecutive reassessments) in 18% of eyes.

Conclusions and relevance

Clinical features seen in cats with low STT-1 values are described, although the association between aqueous deficiency and the reported ocular changes is unknown at this time. We encourage clinicians to assess the tear film in cats with ocular surface disease, and initiate therapy with lacrimomimetics if STT-1 values are repeatedly below normal. Such information will further define aqueous tear deficiency in cats, providing a better understanding of disease prevalence, pathogenesis and treatment.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Uhl, Lisa K., Akihiko Saito, Hiroko Iwashita, David J. Maggs, Jonathan P. Mochel, and Lionel Sebbag. "Clinical features of cats with aqueous tear deficiency: a retrospective case series of 10 patients (17 eyes)." Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (2018). DOI: 10.1177%2F1098612X18810867. Posted with permission of SAGE Publications.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018