Falconiformes are active searchers and hunters that require visual precision to catch their prey and survive in the wild. Despite this, ocular disease is likely to be underdiagnosed in these species, at least in part because of limited proven diagnostic methods and lack of published scientific data. Tear film deficiency is recognized as an important ocular surface disease in dogs but has not been well evaluated in birds. To evaluate the phenol red thread (PRT) tear test as an alternative method to the Schirmer tear test (STT) for determining tear production in Falconiformes, we assessed the PRT tear test twice for each eye in 21 birds from the genus Falco. The mean PRT test values for the right (OD) and left (OS) eyes were OD = 30.2 ± 4.6 mm/15 s and OS = 29.1 ± 3.7 mm/15 s, with an overall PRT test value for both eyes (OU) of 30.6 ± 4.2 mm/15 s. Good reproducibility was seen with the PRT test as shown by the strong positive correlation between the first and second tests in the birds. The PRT test method provides repeatable results that are easy to obtain, easy to read, and achieved under the same conditions as the STT.
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