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Eye Diseases: GLAUCOMA– NEW INSIGHTS INTO AN OLD PROBLEM

If you ask any ophthalmologist to list the most frustrating problem that we face, invariably the answer will be glaucoma. It is the leading cause of blindness in dogs but is a nemesis in any species in which it presents. The frustrations stem not just from our frustrations at eliminating patient (and owner) suffering but also from the different causes and ways it may present, the potential for insidious onset and inexorable progression despite our best efforts, the number of ocular diseases and surgeries in which it may be a secondary complication, the time and economic commitment required for glaucoma monitoring, the myriads of treatments without one primary treatment that is uniformly successful, and the horrendous expense of medications, surgeries, and just lost time in man hours for both the owner and the practitioner.

It is even frustrating for us to stand before you talking about the same disease year in and year out. However, we do have some new discoveries, new medicines, and new surgical techniques upon which we can rely. In the brief time we have with you today, I hope to bring you up to date on our newest discoveries and advances with the hope that we can through early detection and treatment prolong vision in affected animals. . . . . MORE

Adobe Acrobat PDFView/download Glaucoma handout

Eye Diseases: WHAT ARE CATARACTS?

A cataract is defined as any opacity (or opacities) of the lens of the eye. Such opacities may be quite small and interfere little with vision, or they may involve the entire lens causing blindness. Cataracts occur because something interferes with the normal function of lens fibers causing them to degenerate. Causes include inflammatory diseases, hereditary factors, aging changes, toxicities, and metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus. . . . . MORE

Adobe Acrobat PDFView/download Cataract handout

Eye Diseases: WHAT IS KERATOCONJUNCTIVITIS SICCA (DRY EYE)?

The tear film consists of 3 layers: A superficial lipid (oily) layer which decreases evaporation, a middle aqueous layer which contributes 90% of the tear film, and a deep mucin layer which facilitates spreading of the tears over the cornea.

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) occurs whenever there is decreased production of tears or increased evaporation or break-up of the tear film. The problem is most common in dogs but occasionally occurs in cats and horses. Usually the problem arises as a decrease in aqueous tear production which may occur as a result of toxic or inflammatory degeneration of the lacrimal glands (certain drugs, viruses, etc have been incriminated), damage to the innervation of the lacrimal glands, or chronic conjunctivitis. In many cases no specific cause can be identified. When the aqueous tear production decreases, mixing of the oily and mucin layers occurs producing a thick, yellowish, ropy discharge which clings to the eye. Drying of the cornea produces irritation which results in vascularization, pigmentation, and scarring of the cornea. . . . . MORE

Adobe Acrobat PDFView/download KCS/Dry Eye handout