After every eye exam, your usual vet will receive a summary of the visit. Your pet will go through several tests as part of the comprehensive eye exam. Your pet may need more diagnostic tests, such as Schirmer tear tests to check if they have dry eyes, tonometry (to measure the intraocular pressure), refraction (to determine eye optics), and a gonioscopy (to determine iridocorneal corner anatomy). An ultrasonographic assessment of the eyes will also be performed, as well as a special diagnostic test called electroretinogram, to check for any retinal disorders that could hinder successful treatment.
A preoperative assessment conducted by a veterinarian ophthalmologist will include ocular exams to check for other eye disorders, as well as a lab analysis of blood and urine samples to help determine the overall state of a dog’s health. Your veterinarian can perform this examination, or recommend a veterinary ophthalmologist (an eye specialist) for the evaluation of your pet. If your pet’s eyes need more advanced care, or the eyes do not improve with treatment, your veterinarian can refer you to a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist.
Please involve your veterinarian in the discussion of your pet’s eye health to determine how best to preserve his vision and quality of life. Your pet’s eyes are crucial to their health and wellbeing, so you must know that your pet’s eye health is in good shape. At each checkup, vets thoroughly inspect your pet’s eyes to ensure that they are healthy and functioning correctly. During an annual checkup of your pet, your vet will perform a physical examination as well as any required ophthalmic tests to evaluate the health of your pet’s eyes.
Your family vet will check your pet’s eyes at annual checkups, but there are times when your pet will benefit from seeing his or her eye doctor – a veterinarian’s eye specialist vet. Vet ophthalmologists have highly specialized equipment, identical to what your eye doctor uses, to perform examinations and offer medical and surgical treatments for your pet. Veterinary ophthalmologists are veterinarians that receive three or four years of training through a licensed residency program, specializing solely in medical and surgical treatments for the eyes of animals. General practitioners of animal medicine may be able to manage many ocular conditions, but animals with more complex, enduring, or severe conditions are referred to veterinary ophthalmologists.
Many eye conditions require an animal ophthalmologist to conduct complex surgeries, in which they can use operating microscopes and carbon dioxide and diode surgical lasers. Just as in humans, there are animal ophthalmologists specially trained to diagnose and treat eye problems. Just like human ophthalmologists, animal ophthalmology specialists do exams and non-invasive procedures, and they also do surgeries and treatments. Because pets cannot respond to common test methods, like eye charts, animal ophthalmologists use other means of measuring eye health.
You can rest assured knowing at every visit, that your pet will be thoroughly examined in every eye, and that this will always be done by a Board-certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist. Eye exams are usually painless for your pet, but they will have to stay still, so a member of the ophthalmology team will help keep your pet calm throughout the exam. If two eyes have cataracts, ophthalmology services generally recommend performing the surgeries on both eyes at once as there is only a 1-2% chance the pet will suffer complications from surgery on both eyes. Patients with cataracts cannot receive consultation and surgery on the same day as they may need medical care before surgery, and we also need to do an eye examination first to determine whether your pet is a good surgical candidate.
You will either have your usual vet do the bloodwork before surgery day, or we may do it here the day of your pet’s scheduled surgery. It is crucial for us to do our examinations and diagnostic tests, most of the time (even if your vet has done the same diagnostic tests before), so we can give you a proper diagnosis and puppy vaccination as well as a plan for the treatment of your pet.
If your pet has a minor eye disease or injury requiring treatment, your primary care veterinarian will be responsible in many cases. Always speak to your primary care vet if you have concerns about the eyes and health of your pet, and see your vet immediately if any injuries are present. Pets that are experiencing problems with their eyes or their vision need to see a vet immediately. Your cat or dog may need to see an animal ophthalmologist–a vet specializing in treating eye disorders.
Ophthalmologist and clinical instructor at the University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia. For instance, if the veterinarian’s eye doctor eventually diagnoses diabetes in your pet through a cataract exam, the information is passed on back to your primary care vet, who will manage the pet’s diabetes. The cost for your pet’s eye exam will vary depending on the nature of your pet’s eye problems, as well as whether your pet requires special diagnostic tests.
Board-certified ophthalmologists work with your primary care veterinarians to deliver the best possible care for your pet’s eyes. Animal Eye Specialists utilize minimal handling and restraints when examining your pet, and utilize a variety of techniques that are not scary. Treatment of eye conditions can be as simple as antibiotics and eye drops, but for more advanced or serious problems, surgery is required on your pet.