Veterinary Ophthalmology: The Wave of the Future

Berks_iStock_000036607386_Large (2)When you have a problem with your eyes or vision, it’s likely you just open the yellow pages for a list of doctors or specialists in your area. However, your pet’s vision and eye care isn’t always as easy or convenient.
The field of veterinary ophthalmology is highly specialized. Because the required residency and internships are so rigorous, there are only a few hundred board-certified specialists through the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology. But what exactly can a veterinary ophthalmologist do for your pet? We’re so glad you asked!

Vision and Eye Health

Among all the senses you share with your pet, the gift of sight is should not be taken for granted. Indeed, the importance of your pet’s vision and eye health can be considered on par with breathing or his or her own heartbeat. Thanks to advances in veterinary ophthalmology, your pet can continue to live happily even when faced with vision challenges or eye disease.

The Scope of Veterinary Ophthalmology

When your pet has an illness or sustains an injury to his or her eyes, your regular veterinarian may refer you to Dr. Mary Landis, our in-house ophthalmologist. The reasons leading to a referral may include:

  • Cataracts
  • Traumatic eye injuries that precipitate eye-saving surgery or enucleation
  • Any issues related to the structure of the eye, including the eyelids, conjunctiva, and the bones that make up the eye socket
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachments
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Eye tumors
  • Uveitis
  • Entropion
  • Breed-specific problems that benefit from early care and baseline establishment

A veterinary ophthalmologist may employ advanced diagnostics (such as conducting an ultrasound of the eye) to determine an accurate and effective treatment plan.

What You Can Detect at Home

Many eye issues develop over time and are related to other health problems such as cataracts and diabetes. If you ever observe any of these symptoms, please let us know as soon as possible:

  • Eye discharge
  • Bleeding
  • Tearing
  • Squinting
  • Pain
  • Cloudy eye
  • Color changes in the eye
  • Red eye
  • Loss of vision or orientation concerns in low lighting
  • Rubbing or pawing at the eye

The best way to catch any vision problems or issues concerning eye health is to maintain regular wellness visits with your general veterinarian. If symptoms require veterinary ophthalmology, we can help you get the ball rolling.

Continuing the Conversation

The health of your pet can definitely hinge on the health of his or her eyes and overall vision. When he or she experiences pain or impairment, it’s time to visit a specialist, and we are here to help.

At Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center, we’re proud to offer veterinary ophthalmology services and treatment for your pet. Remember, we’re here every day, all day, so please contact us with any questions or concerns.