We are the only veterinary facility in the area to offer ophthalmology services such as Electroretinogram (ERG) and Laser Glaucoma Eye Surgery. Dr. Neuhoff uses the ERG to measure the electrical activity of the retina in response to flashes of light, similar to how an ECG measures the heart. This evaluation helps owners make decisions on whether or not to proceed with cataract surgery, or to determine if their pet has lost vision. Dr. Neuhoff also performs laser surgery to relieve eye pressure due to glaucoma. She also performs duct surgeries for dry eyes and offers the latest treatments for ulcers, uveitis and other eye problems.
When the clear protein of the lens becomes crystallized and opaque, this is what is called a cataract. This change can obstruct the vision.
There are several underlining causes of cataracts such as injury to the eye, chronic diseases of the eye, metabolic issues especially diabetes, and aging changes. Many breeds also have a genetic and inherited risk of cataract formation.
There is no medication that will stop cataracts from progressing. Ophthalmic drops are usually prescribed for the side effects of cataracts like inflammation. Removal of the cataract is the only method of improving vision for pets.
Before removing cataracts, we will need to evaluate the condition of your pet and perform a series of tests to assess the condition of your pet’s eyes. These tests include; tonometry, electroretinogram (possibly under sedation), ocular ultrasound, and bloodwork.
Before Cataract Surgery
Tonometry readings check the internal pressure of the eye. This is important to tell if there are any problems like glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), or uveitis which is low pressure related to inflammation.
Electroretinogram (ERG) tests the light responses of the retina. This is done by connecting a couple of small electrodes to the pet’s eyelid and head, and a small electrode shaped like a contact lens sits on the eye. With these in place, a program records the responses the eye makes to flashes of light, determining if the retina is functioning properly. If it is not, cataract surgery may not restore normal vision.
Ocular Ultrasound is a visual aid in determining if there is anything inside the eye to cause interference or a reason that the surgery would not be effective. Ultrasounds can detect issues in the eye such as tumors, lens displacements, or retinal detachment.
Ultrasound allows veterinarians to image the organs in ways radiographs cannot, by using sound waves to look “through” an organ. Cardiac ultrasound (Echo) is used to evaluate a structural change in the heart. Ultrasound can also be used for imaging of the eye in cases were inflammation or lens changes disallow direct viewing on the exam.
Pre-surgical bloodwork is needed to reveal any anomalies in the function of your pet’s internal organs prior to surgery, to ensure the use of the safest anesthesia for each patient.