About Ophthalmology at AMC

The Ophthalmology Service at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center provides scheduled and emergency care for companion animals with eye and vision problems. Under the direction of a renowned, board-certified ophthalmologist, we offer diagnostic and treatment techniques to alleviate vision disorders in companion animals, ensuring the highest possible quality of life.


If your pet is displaying any of the following symptoms, it may indicate an ocular condition:

  • Squinting or holding eye(s) shut
  • Scratching or rubbing at eye(s)
  • Excessive green or yellow discharge
  • Swelling of the eye(s) or eyelid(s)
  • A change in color, especially cloudiness or redness

Common clinical signs associated with vision impairment or loss that may require intervention include:

  • Running into unfamiliar objects
  • Difficulty finding familiar objects (i.e. food dishes, water bowls, toys)
  • Lethargy, confusion, weakness, anxiety, depression
  • Suddenly unwilling to jump or climb
  • Unable to locate moving or stationary objects
  • Refusal to move in darkness
  • Developing aggressive behavior
  • Seeking security—“always at your feet”
  • Exaggerated “high-stepping” gait
  • Head carried low—“constantly sniffs the ground when walking”

Ophthalmic Examination

When your pet visits the Ophthalmology Service at AMC, we begin with thorough ophthalmic examination. This typically includes:

  • An assessment of comfort and vision
  • Slitlamp biomicroscopy to evaluate the surface of the eye, the iris, and lens
  • Indirect ophthalmoscopy to evaluate the back of the eye (the retina)
  • Measurement of tear production and intraocular pressure

Other diagnostic tests may be performed as needed. These can include:

  • Gonioscopy
  • Electroretinography
  • Ocular ultrasound
  • CT-scan or MRI

Ophthalmic Procedures

The Ophthalmology team at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center routinely performs the following procedures for dogs, cats, and other small animals:

  • Diamond burr keratotomy to treat an indolent corneal ulcer
  • Surgical removal of eyelid tumors
  • Surgical correction of entropion
  • Surgical correction of a prolapsed gland of the third eyelid
  • A conjunctival pedicle graft or other grafting procedure to treat deep corneal ulcers or corneal perforations
  • Suturing of corneal lacerations
  • Phacofragmentation with artificial lens implantation to treat cataract
  • Transscleral lasercyclophotocoagulation to treat glaucoma
  • Insertion of an Ahmed glaucoma valve
  • Chemical ablation to treat chronic glaucoma
  • Removal of the eye
  • Insertion of an intrascleral prosthesis

Helpful Resources

For more information on veterinary ophthalmology and common conditions affecting companion animals, please visit the website of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.