Animal Eye Associates of St. Louis - Veterinary Ophthalmology

When and why should my pet have an eye exam?

When and why should my pet have an eye exam? - image close-up-dog-licking-doctor-1 on

Just as we pay attention to our pet’s skin, fur, and dental health, it’s equally important to keep their eyes checked regularly – this becomes even more crucial as they age.

Eye health is a significant aspect of your pet’s overall well-being. Their vision plays a vital role in their physical health, emotional stability, and overall quality of life. Therefore, it’s essential to be vigilant about potential eye disorders or issues that may crop up.

Our accredited veterinary ophthalmologist at Animal Eye Associates can conduct a comprehensive eye examination to assess your pet’s ocular health and ensure their visual functions are optimal.

For 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.

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.

Signs of eye issues in pets that need immediate attention from a qualified veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist 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

Preparations for an eye exam can start at home. 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.

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. These specialists can treat severe eye injuries and other conditions, as well as perform cataract surgery to restore vision.

f you have any questions feel free to call us at 314-966-2111

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *