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Covid 19 Ophthalmology for Animals - August 6, 2020

Veterinary care is an essential part of our community and we want to assure you that our hospital is open and will continue to provide services at this time. We also want to work with you and our staff to limit direct contact in order to focus on safety for everyone during this pandemic. Accordingly, we ask that you follow the below steps for the safety of all:

  • Upon arrival at the hospital, please remain in your vehicle and call us.
  • After receipt of the call, we will check you in as soon as possible from outside the hospital.
  • If you are at the hospital to pick up medication, please remain in your car outside the hospital and call the front desk. We will deliver your order to your car as quickly as possible.
  • If you are not feeling well or may be at risk of exposure to coronavirus, please ask a healthy friend or family member to transport your pet to the hospital on your behalf.
  • We will do our best to coordinate your visit from outside the hospital, including providing follow up instructions and taking payments.

Ophthalmology for Animals, Inc., we have various ways to help care for your pets without a trip or call to the hospital.

  1. Home Delivery: medications, including prescriptions and refills, can be ordered by sending us an email or text
  2. Email: your questions, concerns, prescription refills, and pictures. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

Our goal is to keep our essential services available to the communities we serve and be there for you and your pets. Thank you for your cooperation and for doing your part in helping to keep pets and people safe, and please don’t hesitate to call with questions.

We anticipate our phone lines will be busier than usual, and therefore, we appreciate your patience!

Lens Luxation

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Anterior lens luxation means the lens is displaced forward into the front compartment (anterior chamber) of the eye. It is a result of breakdown of the fibers (called zonules) that hold the lens in place.

The breakdown of these fibers is either due to an inherited defect, chronic inflammation, or glaucoma. The lens can fall either forward (anterior luxation) or backward (posterior luxation). A subluxation means the zonules have started to break down and the lens is unstable but not completely out of place. When the lens falls forward, it will cause significant discomfort and is an emergency. When the lens falls backward, it is more benign and not uncomfortable for the animal. Common sequelae of lens luxation are glaucoma and retinal detachment. Vitreous degeneration is often seen in conjunction with lens instability and can be a benign change, but in certain dogs can mean that glaucoma and retinal detachment are more likely. In cats, zonule breakdown is usually secondary to chronic low-grade inflammation.

lens luxationIn dogs, inherited zonular defects are always bilateral but may not be symmetrical, so while both eyes are always affected, they may not become a problem at the same time. Without surgery, most luxated lenses will become cataractous and cause chronic inflammation, corneal swelling and painful elevations in intraocular pressure.

Removal of the lens is recommended for all types of lens luxation if there is a potential to recover vision. This procedure results in 30% loss of the focusing power of the eye but most animals function well after a short adjustment period. Distance vision is much better than near vision. Surgery is the only way to recover vision but even with surgery, retinal detachment and glaucoma can occur in the months or years after the procedure. Surgical lens removal is an option in eyes with light perception. Occasionally, the lens can be replaced behind the iris manually to avoid surgery (“couching”), which is a good option in dogs that are not good anesthetic candidates. However it is possible for the lens to re-luxate anteriorly requiring another procedure.

The treatment decision should be weighed against certain absolute blindness and the increased potential need for enucleation (eye removal) in painful eyes. Laser retinopexy may be recommended in the perioperative period to decrease the risk of retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is not painful but often results in complete vision loss and is not easily repaired. Late onset complications of retinal detachment include glaucoma, which is painful.

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