When Should Pets See Us?

When Should Your Pet See An Ophthalmologist?

Most cases seen by an ophthalmologist are referred by a general practice veterinarian. This individual is in the best position to provide an initial examination and determine if referral to a specialist is indicated. Referral of a difficult ophthalmic case demonstrates your veterinarian’s concern for your pet’s welfare and his or her ability to identify conditions which will benefit from specialized diagnosis and treatment. Referral is not required and many pets come to us when the owner has noted an eye problems and seeks an examination directly. Here is more information on scheduling an appointment.

Indications for Referral to an Ophthalmologist
Possible Cause
Loss of Vision Cataracts, glaucoma, retinal degeneration or retinal detachment
Ocular Discharge Dry eye, infections
Ocular Pain Injury, Corneal ulcer, foreign body, eyelid abnormalities, glaucoma
Change in Appearance  Cataracts, inflammation, tumors


Common Eye Diseases
Cataract A clouding of the lens inside the eye; it is the most common cause of blindness in dogs.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy An inherited degeneration of the visual cells (rods and cones.)
Glaucoma A condition associated with elevated pressure within the eye.
Dry Eye A condition in which the tear glands are unable to provide adequate moisture to the eye.
Entropion A “rolling in” of the eyelid(s) so that the eyelashes contact and irritate the cornea.
Corneal Ulcer An abrasion of the clear surface of the eye; often painful; may be caused by trauma.
Cherry Eye A prolapse of the tear gland associated with the third eyelid.
Herpesvirus A viral infection of the cornea and conjunctiva in cats; may or may not be associated with symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.