Small Animal Ophthalmology

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Examining a canine

Small Animal Ophthalmology Service

Our Ophthalmology Service at the ​John and Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital provides specialty ophthalmic services for large, small, and exotic animals. Our ophthalmology service is staffed by board-certified ophthalmologists, residents, and technicians to provide the most current diagnostic and therapeutic techniques available for your pet.

While dogs, cats, and horses make up the majority of our cases, we treat eye diseases of virtually every animal species; in fact, we have a great interest in birds, exotic pets, wildlife, zoo animals and farm animals. We receive referrals from veterinary practitioners and ophthalmologists from the greater Knoxville area and surrounding states.

Our ophthalmology examination clinic is fully equipped with the most advanced diagnostic equipment available to perform a thorough ocular examination of your animal’s eyes. Our equipment is similar to that used by physician ophthalmologists.

Equipment includes:

  • Slit lamp biomicroscopes
  • Rebound and applanation tonometers
  • Indirect ophthalmoscopes
  • Ocular ultrasonography, including high definition
  • CT and MRI
  • Electroretinography
  • Flash and fundic photography

Ocular microsurgery is a major part of our ophthalmology program at UT, and we have capabilities for phacoemulsification surgery for cataracts​, laser surgery to treat a number of ocular disorders, and glaucoma surgery. Just as a workman is no better than his tools, our top-of-the-line microsurgical instrumentation (including operating microscopes, phacoemulsification units, and surgical lasers) allows us to provide most every conceivable ocular surgical intervention your pet may need to help maintain healthy, comfortable eyes and good eyesight.

The University of Tennessee has one of the highest ophthalmology caseloads of any veterinary medical college in the United States.

Dogs – seen most frequently for cataract surgery, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (i.e., “dry eye”), stromal corneal ulceration, indolent ulcers, and glaucoma.

Cats – seen most commonly for herpes virus infections, eosinophilic keratitis, and corneal sequestration.

The service also performs breed certification eye examinations of purebred dogs as screening for inherited eye disorders, and we are regular participants in eye screening clinics for service and working dogs.

As part of the multidisciplinary team at the UTVMC, when needed we have at our fingertips experts in other specialties for consultation to provide a more holistic approach to the treatment of eye disease. The net result is the most up-to-date and effective treatment for our patients and your family members!

Please visit our educational resources for ophthalmology for more information about specific common ocular conditions.