Ophthalmology Overview

What Special Problems Does A Veterinary Ophthalmologist Treat?

Routine eye matters can frequently be handled by your general practitioner veterinarian. The conditions listed below, however, frequently require the attention of a specialist.

* Cataracts – cataract surgery by a board certified ophthalmologist is currently the only treatment for cataracts. Cataracts can be inherited or secondary to a systemic disease process, such as diabetes.
* Corneal ulcer – there are many different types of corneal ulcers. The type of corneal ulcer will dictate the proper treatment for your pet. Some ulcers can be treated medically while other corneal ulcers will need to be treated surgically.
* Eyelid Masses – most tumor of the eyelid margin are benign. They are typically surgically removed using cryotherapy, decreasing the chance of regrowth and minimizing post-op home care.
* Glaucoma – if glaucoma is detected early, restoration of vision is a possible outcome. Glaucoma can be managed medically and in certain cases surgery with our ECP or Transcleral Laser Unit could potentially prolong your dogs vision.
* Prolapsed gland of the nictitans (cherry eye) – surgical replacement of the gland will decrease the irritation of the exposed gland while not decreasing tear production.
* Uveitis – inflammation in the eye – is usually treated medically. Further diagnostics may be needed to try and determine the cause of the inflammation.

Did You Know?

* Do you know why your pet's eyes seem to glow when caught in the light at night? It's because of a specialized structure called a tapetum. Most animals that are active at night have this special, additional layer underneath their retina. This reflective structure acts like a mirror, and reflects light back through your pet's retina to enhance night vision.

* Do dogs see only in black and white? While we can't ask them, most veterinary ophthalmologists now believe that dogs see colors similarly to how a color blind human would perceive them: Not only in black and white, but with a limited scale of colors.

Does your cat or dog need a veterinary ophthalmologist? Talk to your general practitioner veterinarian, or find a VCA board certified veterinary ophthalmologist near you.