“You can do that?!?” – Ophthalmology

“You can do that?!?”

I hear this phrase a lot! People are often surprised when I offer to do something for their pet they didn’t think could be done in their home.
The response is often: “You can do that!?!”
So, each month I’ll feature a service we offer that people may not think can be done in their home.  This month is all about eye health.

Diagnostic tests for the eye

We have an ophthalmoscope to examine the back of the eye (the fundus). That’s what I’m using on The Pepperman, below.

We also can measure tear production  using Schirmer Tear Test strips. (loss of tear production is common in some breeds and can lead to blindness):

Finally, we can examine the front of the eye and perform a fluorescein stain for corneal injury. (That’s what I’m doing to Reggie, below.) I applied a special stain (called fluorescein) to his eye, then held a specific wavelength of light to look for stain uptake.

The only eye test we cannot offer in your home is tonometry – checking eye pressure. If I suspect your pet has glaucoma (an increase in eye pressure) I’ll recommend a local clinic that does have the necessary apparatus…and send you there immediately!

The most common eye problem in dogs is a scratch or hole in the cornea, called a “corneal ulcer.”
If your dog is winking at you, has an unusual eye discharge, or is rubbing at his or her eye, the cornea may be damaged and need medical attention.  Scratches to the cornea often become infected, and are very painful. Click here for more info on corneal ulcer causes and treatments.