Tools of the trade: Algerbrush


by Dr Ian Hayes, Southern Tablelands Veterinary Hospital, Goulburn, NSW

This is a small, vibrating hand-held device that’s used to treat indolent ulcers in dogs’ eyes. We used to normally debride them with cotton ball tips or do a grid keratectomy by scraping them with a needle.

What’s good about it

The diamond tip that touches the cornea is blunt and feels quite smooth when you rub it against your finger. However, it effectively removes the epithelium that stops these ulcers from healing from off the top of the cornea. I’ve had very good results in clearing up indolent ulcers in dogs and even though they sometimes need a second treatment, generally one primary treatment will resolve the issue quite well. The dogs tolerate the procedure without a problem and we haven’t had any bad reactions.

I was never really comfortable using a needle on a dog’s cornea. I was always worried about it sticking into the eye. The Algerbrush is used with a local anaesthetic and is a much safer and more efficient method. The diamond tip can be removed and autoclaved.

The handpiece is quite small and the unit runs on a couple of AA batteries. I picked it up at a conference in the States and it was quite cheap to purchase.

It’s a really handy little tool that nicely cleans up the surface of the cornea and allows the eye to heal.

What’s not so good

The Algerbrush is simple to use and gives great results. I really can’t think of a negative with this product.

Where did you get it

I purchased this at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, but it’s available from Medical and Surgical Requisites.

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