• Sterling Pointe Vet

What is a Veterinary Ophthalmologist Specialist?

Tuesday Aug 08 2017

By: Dr. Ann Lesch-Hollis


Buck was a 6-year-old Jack Russel Terrier that loved to go fishing with dad.  He’d hang out in the boat for hours and was nearly as excited as dad when they landed fish. 

Dad presented Buck to our clinic in the winter for a problem with his left eye.  It looked “odd,” according to the owner.


Upon examination, there was an unusual appearance to Buck’s left eye.  A small, sharp pointy object was protruding out through the cornea, with the rest of the object still inside the eye.   After questioning, dad stated that about six months ago, on one of the many fishing trips, Buck had been playing in dad’s tackle box.  Shortly after, dad discovered he was missing a fish hook. They never did find it.  Somehow, it had made it into Buck’s left eye and was in the process of coming out. 


Now, logically, it would be tempting to grab a hold of the pointy end and pull it but a little voice inside said, “Maybe you should not grab this.” We referred Buck to Animal Eye Center in Rocklin, as an emergency. Buck underwent surgery where they approached the hook through an incision in the side of the eye and could remove it through the incision. After healing, Buck retained vision in the eye and went on many more fishing trips. 


When discussing the case with Dr. Lana Linton, she praised the staff for not grabbing and pulling the hook out through the cornea, as the eye would have ruptured.  Because they retrieved it surgically through the side of the eye, all functional structures remained intact.


When to seek help from a specialist in ophthalmology:

  • Ongoing ocular pain

  • Conditions not responding to traditional treatments

  • Any situation with vision threatened

  • Unknown diagnosis

  • Complicated or unfamiliar conditions for the general practitioner

  • Hereditary disorders

  • Surgical failures

  • Systemic disorders involving the eye

  • Cataracts; management of cataracts; surgical correction of cataracts

  • Corneal surgeries

  • Deep corneal ulcers

  • Glaucoma

  • Lid reconstruction/tumor removal

  • Intraocular foreign bodies, tumors or infections

  • Lens luxation

  • Orbital tumors and masses

  • Iris lesions of any kind

  • Retinal detachment

  • Trauma to the eye

  • Sudden blindness

  • Conditions involving the front chamber of the eye (uveitis)

***Amended from “Fundamental of Veterinary Ophthalmology, 3rd Edition,” 2001, D. Slatter.


Until recently, specialists were only to be found at the veterinary schools.  In the last 20 years, a number of specialists have opened solo practices in the community or aligned themselves with larger private practices in order to see clients.  This is a great boon for the pet-owning public, as university specialty exam/care is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. 


Our local area is fortunate to have such a clinic nearby in Rocklin and is staffed by a great team, headed by Dr. Lana Linton. 


If your pet is experiencing any of the above conditions, ask your regular veterinarian for a referral to the Animal Eye Center. 


Dr. Ann





Dr. Ann Lesch-Hollis owns Sterling Pointe Veterinary Clinic, which is at 41 Lincoln Blvd., Suite 10.  Call 543-9663 or go online to sterlingpointevetclinic.com for more information.    

View Article: http://www.lincolnnewsmessenger.com/article/8/08/17/what-veterinary-ophthalmologist-specialist

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