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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.

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While your general practitioner veterinarian can diagnose and treat many routine eye conditions, certain diseases and injuries require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in veterinary ophthalmology in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet. Some of the diseases include but are not limited to cataracts, glaucoma, uveitis, and corneal ulcers.

What Is A Veterinary Ophthalmologist?
A veterinary ophthalmologist is a board-certified specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions involving the eyes and associated structures. A veterinary ophthalmologist is someone who completed four years of veterinary school, at least one year of an internship, a three year residency in ophthalmology, and has passed examinations administered by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. A veterinary ophthalmologist will combine medical and surgical treatments in order to most effectively treat your pet's condition.

Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Ophthalmologist?
While your general practice 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. In some cases, your veterinarian may be able to simply consult with a specialist about your pet's care. In other cases, it may be necessary to actually refer you and your pet for more advanced diagnostics and treatment. Many eye diseases are time sensitive so prompt consultation or referral is often in you animal’s best interest.

Will My General Practice Veterinarian Still Be Involved?
Your veterinary ophthalmologist will work together with your general practice veterinarian as part of your pet's total veterinary health care team. Your general practice veterinarian will still oversee all aspects of your pet's care, but with the added, specialized input of a veterinary ophthalmologist. The additional input of the veterinary ophthalmologist will be called upon as needed as your veterinarian manages your pet's illness

Our Ophthalmology Services

Corneal Surgery
Electroretinogram (ERG)
Endoscopic Cyclophotocoagulation (ECP)
Eyelid and Corneal Surgery

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