National Service Dog Eye Examination Month

Every pet should have a complete eye exam at least once yearly.

May is National Service Dog Eye Examination Month. As part of a complete medical exam, every dog should have a complete ophthalmologic or eye exam as well. This often involves special instruments known as a direct and indirect ophthalmoscope, which are special hand held instruments needed for a thorough and complete eye exam. Veterinarians will also often first check to see if adequate tears are being produced in the eyes, as well as whether any scratches or ulcers on the cornea are present. Using the ophthalmoscope, the veterinarian will be able to look into the middle and back chambers of the eye, as well as check the health of the retina located at the back of the eye.

Very often topical anesthetic drops are placed on the eye, so that the veterinarian may check for glaucoma using a special device called a tonometer, which gives the doctor an accurate measurement of the intraocular pressure. Symptoms of common eye problems may include squinting of the eye, redness of the eye, as well as changes in the pupil size.  In certain diseases of the eye, swelling and/or pain may also be present, as well as in some cases a sunken in appearance may also appear. If these signs are noted, it is important to have a veterinary evaluation as soon as possible. Every pet should have a complete eye exam at least once yearly.

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