Merck Manual

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Ophthalmic Emergencies in Animals


Sara M. Thomasy

, DVM, PhD, DACVO, Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis

Last full review/revision Mar 2020 | Content last modified Mar 2020

Ophthalmic emergencies require rapid diagnosis and appropriate and often aggressive therapy for maintenance of vision. It is critical to assess the patient's potential for vision by performing a menace response, dazzle reflex, and direct and consensual pupillary light reflexes (PLRs). A consensual PLR (from the affected to nonaffected eye) is particularly useful when the ocular media is opaque and thus prevents assessment of a direct PLR.

Also see pet health content regarding eye emergencies in animals.

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