“The TONOVET is an excellent product for small animal clinics. It is accurate, easy for doctors and technicians to master and gentle on patients. It does not require topical anesthesia and only contacts a very small area of the cornea, making it ideal for fractious or painful patients.”
Dr. K. Myrna, Athen’s, GA, USA
“I love TONOVET, it’s brilliant. It can be used on various animals without any pain or anesthetic. I have just used it on a small bird, a rat etc.”
Dr. David Williams, UK
“Since purchasing the TONOVET we use it on every exam whether it is a routine exam or not. We feel it creates value and impresses the client. I would say 95% of both dogs and cats tolerate it very well. We have diagnosed borderline glaucoma several times without clinical signs.”
Dr. Brent Husband, Animal Care Clinic, Wilsonwille, USA
“In our equine practice, the TONOVET has been very helpful with the ‘abnormal’ eye. I do not have to do nerveblocks or topical numbing to get an accurate reading, and I rearely need to tranqualize a patient. Easy to use and consistent results once you are comfortable using it.”
Dr. Ken Kuckler, Burton, USA
“I was trained with the Tonopen and was comfortable with it. However, I had a ‘test’ TONOVET trial at Braden River Animal Hospital brought for me and liked it. The results are reliable and accurate even for the technicians use. My results always comply witht the ophthalmologists and the test is well tolerated.”
Dr. Shannon Ives, Tarpon Springs, FL, USA
“We LOVE it – refuse to use anything else – as does our ER department after using ours!”
Becca Rose, Technician, Leesburg, VA, USA
“We, as technicians, love them! Cats & dogs do so much better, much more comfortable, even after surgery!”
Jennifer Jones, Technician, Medford, USA
“Tonometry made easy! Very user friendly + reliable. The entire team can use this product with repeatable results. Very quick + easy measurements increasing medical care without much investment of time or expense.”
Dr. Jenna Richards, Richmond Hill, ON, CA
“This is the best way to do animal tonometry. It is ALWAYS well accepted by all the patients we see in our small animal hospital. It is accurate and user-friendly. It is also durable + practial to transport between clinics. I really like this practice tool.”
Dr. Barbara O’Neill, Gananoque, ON, CA
“Measuring IOP before the TONOVET was difficult, and reliability was questionable. We now use TONOVET on a regular basis and find it easy and reliable. It made a major difference in our ophthalmic examinations techniques and was a great help to us and our patients. We love it!”
Dr. M. Mesher, Sydney, N.S. CA
“Have used the TONOVET many times and it is very user friendly and find that the animals are less agitated with the use as well. Very fast to use and easy to learn how to use. I recommed this product to everyone!”
Tania Boyd, Technician, Ajax, CA
American ophthalmologist talks about his work and Icare® Tonovet’s role in it.
Dr. J. Phillip Pickett is a professor of ophthalmology in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and board certified by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. His clinical and research interests include genetic eye disease, glaucoma, equine corneal disease and equine uveitis.
Chosen by his profession
Animals have always been an important part of Dr. Pickett’s life. Even today, full time professional work with animals has not stopped him having two dogs, three cats, and four chickens as pets.
At 8 years of age, little Phil Pickett came across his first patient case in veterinary ophthalmology. As a child, he raised box turtles in the summertime. One of them had badly infected eyes and appeared to be blind. The boy was so upset over this, that his mother – a nurse by profession – gave him some ophthalmic ointment to treat the turtle’s eyes. Sure enough, in a couple of weeks one eye cleared and the turtle regained its vision.
The decision to become a veterinarian took form in his 9th grade civics class, when all the kids had to pick a career that interested them and research it for a class presentation. “I never swayed from that junior high school decision”, says Pickett.
Tutored by great teachers
In undergraduate school Phil Pickett worked one summer at the University of Arkansas Medical School with a lab animal veterinarian who did research work in cryosurgery. Those months were spent freezing “cancer eye” cows, skin tumors, etc. Somewhere during that summer the devoted student read all the texts on ocular anatomy and physiology he could get his hands on. “It was great”, he says.
As a first year vet student, he was lucky to have an anatomy professor, Dr. Y. Z. Abdelbaki, who was very interested in the eye and certainly contributed to the young man’s choice of focus.
After graduation he worked in a rural, general practice in Arkansas for 3 years. Classmates and other local veterinarians who knew he enjoyed eye cases, would send him theirs, since the drive to the closest ophthalmologist would take about 7 hours.
All this finally led to the decision to pursue residency training. Pickett obtained a position at the University of Wisconsin under Dr. Cecil Moore. There was no turning back from a career that was already half passion, half profession.
Always moved by his patients
Most of Dr. Pickett’s patients are dogs, cats and horses – in this order of numbers – but there are always some exotics, small ruminants, and occasionally cattle. The species most typically predisposed to glaucoma is most definitely the canine species. Dogs have primary glaucoma as well as all the different secondary glaucoma types, while other species generally have just the secondary glaucomas.
According to Dr. Pickett, the biggest challenges in treating glaucoma are:
- an adequate, dependable measurement of IOP to initially diagnose the disease
- a coherent follow up on the success of therapy.
Too often the referring veterinarians have no means of measuring the pressure accurately. Because of that, the cases will go undiagnosed for too long to be able to salvage the pet’s vision by the time they come to Dr. Pickett. “We see a lot of irreversibly blind dogs on our first exam, unfortunately”, says he.
Moving on to tomorrow’s tools
Lately the clinical staff working with Dr. Pickett is using the Icare® TonoVet rebound tonometer more and more for measuring the intraocular pressure on animals. The reasons for that are numerous:
- Easy use. Especially students tend to prefer the TonoVet instrument
- Short “learning curve” for becoming proficient and getting reliable readings
- No need to use topical anesthesia to get a reliable reading
- Patients tolerate the measuring procedure well, because it’s short and painless
- Tiny, very light probe works even with the smallest of animals and is especially good for monitoring post-cataract surgeries as it gives an accurate reading even with a partial temporary tarsorraphy in place
When asked about complaints on the Icare Tonovet, Dr. Pickett has to think very hard, but finally he manages to point out two challenges for the manufacturer: If topical anesthetic or ophthalmic ointments have been applied, this can alter the pressures measured. Also, the instrument must be held with the tip parallel to the floor, which can sometimes be a bit of a problem.
Lucky for Dr. Pickett, we haven’t stopped developing our products yet. With this we’d like to say thank you to him and all his colleagues who have cared enough to give us the feedback we need to make even better tools for tomorrow.
J. Phillip Pickett, memberships:
- the American Veterinary Medical Association
- the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association
- the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
- the American Society of Veterinary Ophthalmology
- the International Society of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
- the American Animal Hospital Association.
Russian veterinaries are also discovering the Icare Tonovet
“In comparison to other devices, the Icare Tonovet tonometer is the most universal and easy to use”, says Dr. Konstantin Perepechaev, DVM, PhD, a veterinary ophthalmologist and microsurgeon from the MOVET veterinary clinic in Moscow.
Intraocular pressure measurement is a very important diagnosis tool in veterinary ophthalmology. It not only helps in the control and follow-up of various diseases, it also gives the veterinarian essential information on the general condition of any animal’s eyesight.
Presently, as more and more surgical operations are done, the IOP control allows us to estimate the success or failure of the operation. In the Russian veterinary ophthalmology today a few different tonometers are in use: mostly we have been relying on the traditional applanation technology.
The Icare Tonovet rebound tonomer – already well-known in other many countries – was introduced to the Russian market in 2008. Before purchasing it, I tested it for three weeks in our veterinary practice MOVET in Moscow.
I found the device very useful, especially because we mostly work with smaller animals. It practically allows us to measure the IOP of any animal, independently of its position: sitting, standing or lying down. The small disposable probe allows measuring regardless of the eye size and the fact that anesthesia is not needed, reduces the time of the procedure.
Because of the ergonomic shape of the device, its operator doesn’t need assistance during the IOP measurement. The Icare Tonovet is also a very accurate instrument. The gentle touch of the probe and the quickness of the procedure reduce stress in the animal. As no anesthesia is needed and the animal doesn’t have to be held in place by force, there are fewer disturbances, which means more reliable results. The measuring can also be repeated as many times as necessary to confirm the readings.
Now that this device is available in Russia, it opens many new opportunities for the clinical use of IOP control and guarantees better healthcare services for all our veterinary practices. However, we always have to remember, that any disease diagnosis in animals is a complex process influenced by many factors.