Tools of the trade: Digital Macroview Veterinary Otoscope by Welch Allyn

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Otoscopeby Dr Kristie Mientka, Potts Point Veterinary Hospital, NSW

We routinely use this otoscope for ear infections that are very common at this time of year. We are also seeing a lot of dogs with allergies, so the otoscope is used nearly every day.

What’s good about it?

This digital otoscope allows us to pull up a video and show the client exactly what it looks like down the ear canal of their pet. It’s a live image and we’re able to capture still images as well. The image quality is very good and I can easily ensure that the canal is intact while identifying any debris or inflammation.

The otoscope definitely helps with client compliance. When they actually see the problem in their pet’s ear—and some of them get quite grossed out—it makes them much more likely to follow through with the medication we’ve prescribed. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Another great benefit is when you’re in a multi-doctor practice and another doctor is seeing that patient for a follow-up. They are able to look back at the images attached to the file, see exactly what it looked like and keep track of the progress. It’s also great for showing clients the progress their animal has made.

There’s a bit of a learning curve as you have to look at a screen versus down the actual ear. I’ve found the animals tolerate it very well—you just have to be nice and gentle.

What’s not so good?

Some of the newer models are wireless, which I think would be quite helpful. This one has a long cord, but a wireless feature would enable it to be moved easily around the room. It would also be great if there was better integration between the otoscope and our software. Right now, it takes a bit of time to save the images to the computer and then upload them to the patient’s file.

Where did you get it?

Vetquip (www.vetquip.com.au).

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