by Dr Louisa Hick, Townsville Vet Clinic, Aitkenvale, QLD
This wireless otoscope makes it much easier to view what’s happening in an animal’s ear canal. Unlike a normal otoscope, you don’t have to bend and twist near the animal’s face and ear to straighten the vertical canal as you look through the eyepiece. The results are wirelessly sent to a screen or phone in real time.
What’s good about it
We use the practice after-hours smartphone to view the results of the Firefly. It allows us to easily share with the owners and gives a detailed view—exactly what the otoscope is seeing in the ear is displayed. Clients tend to be keen to have a look. You just need to download the app to your phone.
You can record video or still images which makes it easy to share the results among staff or with other vets when cases are being transferred. The Firefly has a rolling focus that keeps the image sharp and clear. It comes with its own small alligator forceps that go through the earpiece to extract any objects.
It has other uses as well. I’ll often put it up a dog’s nose when looking for foreign bodies or polyps. It can also be used for vaginoscopy on dogs. I’ll pop a speculum in place and the otoscope will reveal in magnified detail exactly what’s happening up there. It really is a multi-use tool.
What’s not so good
I envisaged that we would be able to look at unsedated animals more easily but that turned out not to be so. We still tend to sedate or anaesthetise to get the optimal diagnostic images, particularly of the tympanic membrane. We are, however, getting a much better view of the ear canal than previously.