Research on dolphin’s eyes health


My name is Saskia Dreyer, I’m working at
the Zoo of Duisburg as an assistant vet and I am doing a research on bottlenose dolphins,
about ocular health, in European facilities. This means that I am doing ultrasound examination
of the eyes of each animal and also taking pictures,
digital photographs of each eye, and afterwards I can compare the ultrasound images
to the digital pictures I have. The particularity of this training has been
to ensure that the dolphin maintains the eye fully open
when approaching the probe. The training consisted of reinforcing the
dolphin each time it left the eye open while we approached the probe quite close,
until we reached the point where Saskia could do the real ultrasound of the eye. Maybe in the future, in the medical training
we can do ultrasound examinations of the eyes and hopefully it will allow early diagnosis
of ocular diseases. At the moment I have 20 animals for my dissertation and when I complete the study
it will have been 50 animals. Normally, I am doing just
examinations of bottlenose dolphins but here I have also the opportunity
to do it in the killer whales. It was also my first time so I was really excited
to do this and yes, it worked really well. I really thank the Loro Parque for the collaboration and the Foundation for taking support of me for this project.

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