Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology (treatment of disorders & diseases of the eye)

The delicate and important nature of the eye can mean the smallest of problems need a very steady accurate hand to surgically correct certain problems.

Certain corrective operations such as those listed below can now be performed at our own practice, without the need for expensive referral.

These are just a few examples of the ocular surgery that can be performed at the Severn Edge Veterinary Group. If further specialist treatment is required then we are able to refer you to some of the best ophthalmologists in the country where procedures such as lens removal or cataract surgery can be performed.

Entropion
This painful condition can occur in any breed but often will occur in dogs such as Shar-Pei’s and Rottweilers. Entropion is where usually the lower eyelid (or sometimes the upper eyelid or even both!) can “roll” inwards and this makes the hairs on the skin beneath the eyes, rub directly on the sensitive cornea. Other than being exceptionally uncomfortable, this can lead to chronic corneal changes or in extreme circumstance – blindness.

An operation can be performed where a tiny strip of skin is removed from just millimeters below/above the eyelid it self. The removal of this tissue and subsequent microstitching effectively pulls the eyelid back out again and allows the normal eyelid margin to move against the eye normally. This photo shows a fairly long standing case of entropion and there is already some damage occuring to the corneal surface.

Distichiasis
This is a condition, again encountered by any breed of dog, but often toy breeds such as Cavaliers. This is where there are tiny little “extra” eyelashes that grow backwards from the eyelid itself. So rather than protruding outwards and away from the eye (like our eyelashes) they grow inwards and rub against the eye. Again this is a serious and persistent cause of ocular pain and discomfort and requires careful and thorough removal of these additional lashes to relieve the irritation. The red arrows on this photo show two extra lashes on the lower lid, and one additional lash on the upper lid.

Prolapsed Nictitating Gland/Cherry Eye
The Nictititating gland is one of the main tear producing glands in a dogs eye and it sits just beneath the normally hidden “third” eyelid that sweeps across from the corner of the eye. Occasionally in young dogs (particularly Bull Dogs and Great Danes) this gland can prolapse from underneath the eye and protrude in the field of vision. Delicate surgery is required to carefully replace this gland in its correct position and suture it in place so that firstly the problem doesn’t reoccur, and secondly that the vital tear production of this gland is not compromised in any way.

Conjunctival Pedical Grafts
In certain instances where either there is severe ulceration of the cornea or with some traumatic injuries to the eye, it is necessary to perform a conjunctival pedical graft. This is where a thin area of tissue that covers the white of the eye, is carefully lifted away and then rotated onto the cornea (the clear part of the eye) and delicately sutured in place. This adds strength and support to the damaged area of the cornea, whilst also aiding with the healing of the original injury or defect. These are left in place until the healing has taken place and then removed at a later date.