Ophthalmology is the study of diseases affecting the eyes. Eye problems are a common reason why pet owners bring their companion to Polo Springs Veterinary Hospital for an evaluation. A pet with an eye problem may have a red eye(s), abnormal or an excessive amount of eye discharge, squinting, pawing at the eye(s), rubbing of the face along the carpet or furniture, limited or complete loss of vision, holding the eye(s) closed, unequal pupil size and/or cloudiness inside the eye. If you notice any of these signs at home, it is best to have one of our veterinarians examine your pet, as some eye problems can be serious, painful and sometimes even contagious to both you and other pets.
Ocular (eye) disease can be a problem related solely to the eyes themselves, or it can be a manifestation of systemic disease. Isolated eye problems include conditions such as infections, corneal ulcers (a scratch to the surface of the eye), a foreign body (such as a piece of grass under the third eyelid), glaucoma, eyelid tumors/cysts, cataract formation, an eyelash growing in the wrong direction causing irritation to the eye, inflammation inside the eye (anterior uveitis), trauma to the eye, a deficiency in tear production resulting in a dry eye, etc. Eyes have been called the window to the body and this is true with certain diseases. For example, dogs with diabetes mellitus will frequently develop cataracts. Older cats with renal (kidney) disease or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) can experience retinal detachment and subsequent blindness due to uncontrolled high blood pressure. Some animals with infectious diseases such a leptospirosis or tick borne diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme disease can present with uveitis (inflammation within the anterior chamber of the eye).
A detailed whole body and ophthalmic examination by one of our highly trained veterinarians will help us determine whether diagnostic tests are necessary. Fortunately, if routine and/or advanced tests are required to arrive at a diagnosis, we are able to perform them promptly in hospital in order to initiate proper treatment to resolve your pet’s eye problem. If your pet’s eye problem is related to a more widespread or systemic disease, we are able to evaluate, diagnose and treat that as well. Rest assured we will use all of our resources to best serve you and your pet.