Objective: To evaluate, for clinically normal dogs, results of Schirmer tear tests in eyes without topical anesthetic (STT) and to detect differences associated with breed, sex, age, day, and time of day in eyes in which STT was performed after use of topical anesthetic (STTa).
Animals: 41 Beagles, 43 Labrador Retrievers, 25 Golden Retrievers, 26 English Springer Spaniels, and 22 Shetland Sheepdogs.
Procedure: Beagles had STT and STTa values measured twice daily for 5 days. Client-owned dogs of 4 other breeds had STT and STTa values measured once.
Results: Mean +/- SD values of Beagles for STT and STTa were 20.2 +/- 2.5 and 3.8 +/- 2.7 mm/min. Mean values for STT and STTa were as follows: Labrador Retriever, 22.9 +/- 4.1 and 9.6 +/- 3.8 mm/min; English Springer Spaniel; 20.7 +/- 3.2 and 5.4 +/- 3.4 mm/min; Golden Retriever, 21.8 + 3.7 and 8.8 +/- 3.1 mm/min; and Shetland Sheepdog, 15.8 +/- 1.8 and 3.6 +/- 2.8 mm/min. Overall mean values for STT and STTa were 20.2 +/- 3.0 and 6.2 +/- 3.1 mm/min. Differences for STT and STTa were detected among breeds, but significant differences were not associated with sex or age within each breed or in overall values for all dogs.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results for the STT reported here compare favorably with reported values, except for results of Shetland Sheepdogs; however, results for the STTa differ dramatically from reported values. Clinicians should consider effects attributable to breed when evaluating results of STT and STTa in dogs.