Selected Diagnostic Ophthalmic Tests in the Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2009
Ginger L. Takle1, DVM; Wm. Kirk Suedmeyer1, DVM, DACZM; Amy Hunkeler2, DVM, DACVO
1Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City, MO, USA; 2Hunkeler Animal Eye Clinic, Lees Summit, MO, USA


The following tests were performed on a total of 20 eyes: Schirmer tear test, intraocular pressure, assessment of conjunctival flora, and pupillary diameter pre- and post-application of topical tropicamide in ten healthy captive red kangaroos (Macropus rufus) under manual restraint. The mean Schirmer tear test value was 22.6±6.07 mm/min. The mean intraocular pressure was 17.45±7.23 mm Hg. Values did not differ between eyes or gender for either test, but significant differences were identified for IOP values according to age. The most common bacteria isolated from the conjunctival fornix were Staphylococcus epidermidis (54.5%) and Corynebacterium sp. (18.2%). The mean onset of mydriasis after instillation of 1% tropicamide ophthalmic solution, USP (Falcon Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., Fort Worth, Texas 76134, USA) was 16.7±3.34 min and the mean duration of effect was 17.6±8.26 hr. The data obtained in this investigation will aid veterinary ophthalmologists and zoo veterinarians to accurately diagnose ocular diseases in the red kangaroo.


The authors would like to thank the Kansas City Zoo Outback keeper staff for their dedication to animal care, Aaron J. Bonham, MS for statistical analysis, and Andrea Lowery, RVT, William Fales, MS, PhD, Tony Mong, MS and John Dodam, DVM, MS, PhD for technical support. The authors also wish to acknowledge the University of Missouri-College of Veterinary Medicine and Safariz for their support of the residency program.


Speaker Information
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Ginger L. Takle, DVM
Kansas City Zoo
Kansas City, MO, USA

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