Your furry friend’s little eyes give you a glimpse into their personality and emotions.
But just as you see an eye doctor once a year a large part of being a responsible pet owner is understanding that your pet may need that extra care as well.
While a typical vet visit may include a quick peek around your pet’s eyes, a veterinary ophthalmologist check is crucial to keep your pet’s eyes healthy especially as they age.
Additionally, eye injuries for your pet are all too common, and when seeking proper treatment for injuries, time is of the essence. Finding an animal eye clinic with emergency vet services can help assess the issue before it turns into something far worse.
What is an Ophthalmology Veterinarian?
After obtaining a veterinary license, a vet can become board certified Ophthalmologists with two to four years of an ABVO-approved veterinary ophthalmology residency and become a member of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO).
One step up from veterinarians, vet ophthalmologists have passed a series of rigorous skill-based examinations specifically concerning ophthalmology (all things eyes-related) on animals and are specialists in their field.
So, unlike your regular veterinarian, a veterinarian ophthalmologist specializes exclusively in eye care and treating eye injuries for your animal.
Why is a Specialist Important?
Your pet’s eyes are one of the most delicate areas and injures and can lead to serious long-term issues and potential blindness if misdiagnosed.
Some diagnoses, treatments, and surgeries can be done only by a veterinary ophthalmologist as they have better equipped to give a proper diagnosis.
Vet ophthalmologists have advanced equipment to evaluate and diagnose various ailments.
- Evaluate the retina through the Pupillary light reflex test.
- Check for building corneal ulcers through a Fluorescein stain test.
- View the anterior chambers of your pet’s eyes through Slit Lamps.
- Evaluate tear production and causes of dry eye through as Schirmer Tear Test
After your pet has been seen by an ophthalmologist a proper diagnosis and treatment plan can be given and depending on the seriousness of the issues your vet may recommend following up with the ophthalmologists 1-2 times a year.
When Should My Pet See an Ophthalmologist?
Anytime you notice a visible difference in your pet’s eye functions you should seek out treatment as eye problems in animals are quite common.
However, there are several tell-tale signs that your pet may need to be seen by an ophthalmologist.
Take your pet to the ophthalmologist if you notice signs of:
- Drainage that is yellow, green, or red.
- Excessive watering (clear) in one eye or both.
- Swelling, Crustiness, or hair loss around the eyelids.
- Very red or swollen areas around the whites of their eyes
- Excessive squinting or holding their eye/eyes closed.
- Films or white glossiness over the eye.
These symptoms in your pet could be something minor such as a corneal abrasion requiring a simple treatment such as antibiotics and eye drops.
But other symptoms can lead to more severe issues developing such as Cataracts or Pannus which may require surgery to prevent complete loss of vision.
Particularly in dogs, there is an increased likelihood of genetic canine overbreeding which can cause other serious disorders such as glaucoma but can be diagnosed early through a specialized dog ophthalmologist.
How to Qualify your Ophthalmologist
If you considering seeing an ophthalmologist for your pet remember due to the specific nature of their field ophthalmologists must have continually updated training, certifications, and current licenses.
Be sure to check into their legitimacy through the ACVO website to ensure they are qualified before visiting an animal eye clinic.
Staying on top of your furry friend’s health can be frightening and overwhelming as even the smallest issue can lead to worse without proper preventative measures.
Never hesitate to reach out to a veterinary ophthalmologist if you have any concerns regarding your pet’s eye health.
Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists is committed to educating our clients on how to keep their pets healthy all year round through the latest advances in tech and the top veterinary specialist.
If you are in the Tulsa area and are looking for a specialized Vet ophthalmologist for your four-legged friend contact Oklahoma Veterinary Specialist today!