What Is A Veterinary Ophthalmologist?
A veterinary ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in diseases that can affect your pet's eye and vision. A veterinary ophthalmologist is also equipped to diagnose and treat diseases that affect the structures surrounding the eye, such as the eyelids, conjunctiva, and some of the bones of the skull that comprise the eye socket. A veterinary ophthalmologist will combine medical and surgical treatments in order to most effectively treat your pet's eye problem.
Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Ophthalmologist?
While your primary veterinarian can handle many aspects of your pet's care, just as in human medicine, sometimes there is a need for the attention of a specialist. If your pet has a complicated or difficult problem, your pet may need the care of a veterinary ophthalmologist.
What Special Problems Does A Veterinary Ophthalmologist Treat?
Routine eye matters can frequently be handled by your primary veterinarian. However, the conditions listed below, along with many others, frequently require the attention of a specialist:
- Corneal ulcer
- Prolapsed gland of the nictitans (cherry eye)
- Retinal Detachment
Will My Primary Veterinarian Still Be Involved?
Your veterinary ophthalmologist will work together with your veterinarian as part of your pet's total veterinary health care team. Your primary veterinarian will still oversee all aspects of your pet's care, but with the added, specialized input of a veterinary ophthalmologist. For example, if a veterinary ophthalmologist ultimately diagnoses diabetes in your pet as a result of an eye examination for cataracts, that information will be relayed back to your primary veterinarian, who will treat your pet's diabetes.
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. This means they see not only in black and white, but with a limited scale of colors.