When Should Pets See Us?

When Should Your Pet Be Examined By an Ophthalmologist?

Most cases examined by an ophthalmologist are referred by their general practice veterinarian. This individual is in the best position to provide an initial examination and determine if referral to a specialist is indicated. That your veterinarian has the confidence to refer to a specialist demonstrates his or her high standards and concern for your pet’s welfare. It reflects his or her ability to identify conditions which will benefit from specialized diagnosis and treatment. Referral is not a requirement, however, and many pets come to us directly when the owner has noted an eye problem and seeks a specialized examination. Here is more information on scheduling an appointment.

Indications for Referral to an Ophthalmologist
Symptom
Possible Cause
Loss of Vision Cataracts, glaucoma, retinal degeneration or retinal detachment
Ocular Discharge Dry eye, allergies, infections, tear drainage problems
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 a common cause of blindness in dogs.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy An inherited degeneration of the photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the retina.
Glaucoma A condition associated with damaging elevated pressure within the eye.
Dry Eye A condition in which the tear glands are unable to provide adequate moisture to protect the eye.
Entropion A painful “rolling in” of the eyelids so that eyelashes and fur contact and damage 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.