Vision studies and visual acuity investigations are an ongoing and progressive field in veterinary ophthalmology. These independent studies all help to contribute to a combined and collective knowledge in our understanding of this truly complex matter.
Understanding retinal morphology and physiology is an integral factor in piecing together overall function of the eye. Many of these studies have been done in both medical and veterinary ophthalmology using behavioural factors, electrophysiology, special staining and scanning techniques on a histological level. In the veterinary field many species have been studied pointing out similarities or differences among them. This study hopes to contribute to the understanding of the retinal ultrastructure of the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer).
Twenty-five pairs of African buffalo eyes were obtained, but only forty-eight eyes were included in this investigation. The globes of one donor appeared to have chronic intraocular disease and were phthisical. Since this is a descriptive study of normal anatomy and function, these eyes were excluded. Globe dimensions were recorded and statistically analysed, revealing an average horizontal diameter of 32.91mm and a vertical diameter of 33.04mm. The median age of the donor group was 4 years with Using scanning electron microscopy it was established that African buffalo retinas, like other domestic species, have a specialised region a few millimetres dorsolateral to the optic disc, synonymous to the well described area centralis. In this region a higher concentration of cones is found as opposed to other rod-rich regions.
In a concurrent investigation, the contralateral globes were processed for immunohistochemical antibody staining. Colour specific anti-bodies were used to identify the cone population present in the African buffalo retina. The conclusion of this investigation reveals that this species like other domestic animals has dichromatic colour vision, recognising short and medium to long colour wavelengths.
Dissertation (MMedVet)--University of Pretoria, 2013.