Animal Eye Associates of St. Louis - Veterinary Ophthalmology

What does a veterinary eye exam entail?

What does a veterinary eye exam entail? - image cute-dog-during-consultation-1-1024x683 on

What does a veterinary eye exam entail?

Our pets’ eyes, much like their skin, fur, and teeth, require regular check-ups and medical care, especially as they age. Eye examinations play a significant role in maintaining the overall health of our furry friends. Their vision is vital for their physical well-being, emotional stability, and quality of life. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep an eye on any signs of potential disorders or issues that may arise.

At Animal Eye Associates, our board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists conduct comprehensive eye examinations to evaluate your pet’s ocular health and ensure their visual functions are optimal.

For our new patients at Animal Eye Associates, our examinations include the following tests:

  • Slit Lamp Biomicroscopy for assessing the anterior part of the eye
  • Indirect Ophthalmoscopy for evaluating the posterior segment of the eye
  • Tonometry for measuring intraocular pressure
  • Schirmer Tear Test to verify normal tear production
  • Fluorescein Staining to examine the corneal surface

During the eye exam, the veterinarian can evaluate your pet’s vision by:

  • Inspecting the tissues around the eye and eyelids
  • Using light stimuli to check if the pupils constrict normally
  • Checking for abnormal growths, misplaced eyelashes, etc.
  • Evaluating the eye’s surface
  • Observing your pet’s ability to track an object
  • Watching their navigation skills within a room
  • Conducting a “menace response test” (gently bringing a finger close to the eye to observe if they blink in response)

In certain situations, more detailed eye tests may be required. If your vet suspects a corneal ulcer or scratch, they will apply a small quantity of dye in the eye. Any damaged corneal tissue will turn green, making the injury visible on the eye’s clear surface.

Eye pressure and tear production might also be assessed to detect conditions such as glaucoma. By dilating the pupil with eye drops, the vet can get a clear view of the inside of the eye, enabling them to inspect the retina, lens, optic nerve, and blood vessels.

Why is it essential for my pet to have an eye exam?

Our pets are active beings who cannot communicate if they’re experiencing eye discomfort or visual disturbances, making it our responsibility to monitor their eye health. Early detection and treatment are crucial as some eye conditions can cause discomfort and even lead to vision loss.

What are the signs of eye problems in pets?

Any eye injuries should be examined by a qualified veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Other symptoms indicating potential eye problems that need immediate attention include:

  • Difficulty maneuvering familiar surroundings (like rooms in your home)
  • Frequent squinting
  • Green or yellow discharge around the eyes
  • The third eyelid is more visible than usual
  • Swelling in one or both eyes
  • Pawing at the eyes
  • Keeping one or both eyes shut

How can I prepare my pet for an eye exam?

While a trained veterinary ophthalmologist is required to conduct an eye examination, there are a few steps you can take at home prior to the exam. Start by gently trimming any stray hairs that may rub against your pet’s eye. Just like humans, animals’ eyes can also get irritated by hair. In addition, a stray strand can potentially harm the cornea, the eye’s clear surface. Check if the sclera (the white part of the eye) is clear and inform your vet if you observe any redness, inflammation, excessive tearing, or unusual discharge.

When does my pet need to see an eye specialist?

If your pet requires advanced eye care or if the current treatment isn’t working, your vet may recommend you to a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist. At Animal Eye Associates we can treat severe eye injuries and other conditions, as well as perform cataract surgery to restore vision.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your pet showing signs of an eye condition you’re concerned about? Animal Eye Associates vets as quickly as possible.

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