Repository logo

Student attitudes regarding the educational value and welfare implications in the use of model eyes and live dogs in teaching practical fundus examination: evaluation of responses from 40 students

Published version

Change log


Williams, DL 
Wager, C 
Brearley, Jacqueline  ORCID logo


This study sought to document student opinions on the educational value and welfare implications of use of artificial model eyes and live dogs in the training of veterinary students in examination of the canine fundus. Forty students who had undertaken a practical class on canine fundoscopy involving both use of artificial model eyes and live dogs were asked to complete a short questionnaire using a Likert scale to gauge their opinion on whether the use of live dogs and artificial eyes was very valuable (scoring 2), valuable (1), a neutral response (0), not particularly valuable (-1) or not at all valuable (-2) and to write a free text response on their views of the educational value and welfare implications of using artificial model eyes or live dogs in training for ophthalmic examination of the canine ocular fundus. Likert responses were 1.84±0.37 for using live greyhounds and 0.58±0.79 for using simulator eyes (p<0.0001). Thematic analysis of the written responses showed that while the artificial eyes were considered somewhat valuable in initial training, the live dogs were significantly preferred for their realism and the opportunity to examine the eye while handling a live animal. In conclusion, while model eyes are valuable initial training in use of the ophthalmoscope for funduscopic examination, students consider that examining the eye in the live dog is significantly more valuable and that the welfare of dogs thus used is not in their view unduly compromised.



education, fundoscopy, model eye, ophthalmoscopy, student

Journal Title

Open Veterinary Journal

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tripoli