View Full Version : Ophthalmologist or regular vet?

18th March 2010, 08:52 PM
Misha had a dental Feb 5th. When he went to have his sutures rechecked, the vet noticed that his eye looked irritated. I didn't want her to do a whole lot at that point since he was still sore from his teeth, so we agreed to try antibacterial ointment. His eye cleared up but a week later was irritated again. So I did the ointment one more time and after it was done, the eye again is irritated. It's red with the third lid slightly covering. I made an appointment with an ophthalmologist, but it's 4x as expensive as a regular vet.

Just wanted to see if anyone knows whether the ophthalmologist is necessary or if his regular vet could handle this? The vet checking his teeth was an actual dentist at the university hospital and she suggested the specialist.

18th March 2010, 09:33 PM
Well, it would really depend on the skill of the vet (their degree of knowledge about eye problems) and the degree of the problem. If you've tried two or three times without any luck then it probably is necessary to see a specialist. On the other hand, your vet could probably do some basic testing such as checking the moisture level and for any corneal ulcers. Usually this is what a vet will do anyway on the first visit with an eye problem so maybe this was already done. It sounds like you are probably dealing with some sort of a scratch or ulcer, perhaps caused by too low a level of moisture on the eye. A lot of cavaliers get dry eye and may need to be permanently on special drops, otherwise the eye gets irritated and the cornea can be scratched.

A specialist is likely to figure out the problem very quickly. Set against that, you might end up making several visits to your vet before the problem could be identified and even then you might well end up being referred to the specialist after all anyway.

Given how sensitive and important eyes are, I think it's a good idea to see the specialist. An irritated eye can be really painful for these dogs.

Cathy T
18th March 2010, 10:09 PM
I think I'd go with the Specialist. If the eye is clearing after ointment but getting irritated again so quickly, I think I'd skip the middleman and go straight to the specialist. Good luck and hope everything is okay.

19th March 2010, 12:45 AM
His eye has been checked for scratches by regular vet and seemed OK. This has happened before - usually with itchy skin though this time w/out. I guess we'll stick w/the specialist then.

19th March 2010, 11:15 PM
His eye has been checked for scratches by regular vet and seemed OK. This has happened before - usually with itchy skin though this time w/out. I guess we'll stick w/the specialist then.

I think you would be very wise to see the opthalmologist. Your veterinarian sounds very sensible to me, as I think he may have noted signs of something a little more than dry eye. You mention itchy skin. Are there any lesions or hair falling out more than usual?

2nd April 2010, 10:46 PM
Glad we went. Misha had a small ulcer in each eye :( His tears in the bad eye are at the low end of normal so vet recommended GenTeal for severe dry eye and a cyclosporin ointment. He is also on a short course of ointment antibiotic because of the ulcers. So some questions:

Anyone know if the cyclsporin is quite necessary long term?

Misha hates having the ointments put in his eyes, but he is good for a treat. We are putting 3 ointments in 4x per day. I need a very tasty low calorie treat so he doesn't get fat. Suggestions?

We had our appt Monday and his eyes already look a lot clearer and less weepy. I guess they went downhill so slowly that they didn't look too bad to me.

Oh, he also has mild cataracts and nuclear sclerosis.

Cathy Moon
3rd April 2010, 06:08 PM
So glad you found a specialist and he's already showing improvement!

If Misha is not sensitive to dairy, this might help: we have been using low fat mozzarella string cheese sticks for Geordie's meds. It is soft and can be sliced very thin. He gets these tiny slices throughtout the day with his meds, and doesn't have a weight problem.