Veterinary Eye Center, PLLC

3908A Far West Blvd
Austin, TX 78731

(512)255-8700

veteyecenter.evetsites.net

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions and answers that we are frequently asked. If you need more information or have additional questions that are not covered here, please feel free to contact us.

1.  Who is a DACVO?
2.  Do I need a referral from my regular veterinarian before you will see my animal?
3.  What happens during an eye exam?
4.  How long does the appointment take?
5.  Will my animal need to stay overnight?
6.  What about follow up care?
7.  What is our clinic schedule?  What days do we do surgery on?
8.  What eye diseases do we see?
9.  What services and treatments do we offer?
10.  What species do we treat?
11.  What is our fee structure?
12.  What are the payment options?


1.  Who is a DACVO?

A DACVO is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.  A DACVO is a board-certified veterinary eye specialist who has passed rigorous board exams and received years of specialized training to obtain the highest qualifications in the field.  Veterinarians who are not true ophthalmology specialists use the phrase, "veterinarian with a practice limited to eyes".  The following are done in order to become a DACVO:

Education involves 4 steps:

  • College (4+ years)
  • Veterinary school (4 years)
  • Internship in small animal medicine and surgery (1 year)
  • Residency in Veterinary Ophthalmology (3-4 years)
  • Board certification involves two steps:

    • Credentials evaluation:  Evaluation by a committee of publications, resume, letters of recommendation     and case reports (detailed presentation of specific ophthalmology cases
    • Board examinations over 3 days that cover written examinations, slide examinations, and practical examinations (surgery performance and eye evaluation)

2.  Do I need a referral from my regular veterinarian before you will see my animal?

A referral from your veterinarian is not required.  Our patients are generally referred, and we prefer to work closely with your pet care team.  If your animal is having an eye problem, your first step should be with your regular veterinarian.  If the problem is complicated, severe or chronic, your veterinarian will then refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist or animal eye specialist.

A visit summary will be sent to your veterinarian after each eye exam.  Diagnostic test results will also be shared with your regular veterinarian.


3.  What happens during an eye exam?

We discuss with your animal's problems, previous treatments and medical history.  Tests for eye problems will be performed including a check of tear production for dry eye, special topical stains for corneal ulcers, and eye pressure measurement for glaucoma.  Tests are repeated as needed at recheck exams.

We examine your animal's eyes in a specially equipped room that can be darkened.  The front portion of the eye is examined with a slit lamp biomicroscope.  The back of the eye including the retina and optic nerve are carefully examined with an indirect ophthalmoscope and a variety of special lenses.  Sometimes your animal's pupils will be dilated as a part of the exam.  This dilation takes about 30 minutes to work, and will last for about 4 hours. 

We will discuss your animal's eye problems and treatment plan.  We may also discuss other medical diseases (if any) that your animal may have. 


4.  How long does the appointment take?

The first appointment and examinations with new problems take longer than checkups for existing problems.  Longer appointments usually take 1 to 2 hours.  Simple recheck appointments can be as short as 20 minutes.  Complicated problems that require further testing may involve your animal staying with us for the day.


5.  Will my animal need to stay overnight?

For appointments or minor surgical procedures, an overnight stay is typically not needed.  

If overnight care is necessary for intensive medical treatments, IV fluids, post-operative care or careful monitoring of any health problems, patients will need to be transferred to a nearby veterinary specialty or emergency hospital.


6.  What about follow up care?

  • Simple problems may not need follow up care
  • Chronic disease management may require regular visits - some exams are every few days, weeks, or months while others are annually.
  • Surgery patients have recheck examinations in the weeks after surgery to monitor healing and response to medications used after surgery.

7.  What is our clinic schedule?  What days do we do surgery on?

Patients are seen in scheduled appointments on weekdays.  Our hospital is open all-day Monday through Friday for medication refills, phone calls and appointment scheduling.  Surgeries are scheduled Monday through Thursday.


8.  What eye diseases do we see?

  • Eyelid problems - entropion, ectropion, cherry eye, ectopic cilia, distichia, trichiasis, masses or cancers, etc.
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS)
  • Glaucoma
  • Uveitis, chorioretinitis caused by infection, cancer, autoimmune, etc.
  • Cataracts
  • Trauma or foreign bodies
  • Optic neuritis
  • Retinal disease - retinal detachment, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARD)
  • Many Others!

9.  What services and treatments do we offer?

  • Eye examination

    • OFA Eye Certification Registry pre-breeding exam for hereditary eye disorders
    • Slit lamp biomicroscopy to examine the front part of the eye
    • Indirect ophthalmoscopy to examine the back of the eye
    • Schirmer tear tests (dry eye evaluation)
    • Fluorescein and Rose Bengal stains for corneal disease
    • Tonometry (eye pressure testing for glaucoma)
    • Gonioscopy (eye drainage angle examination)
    • Retinoscopy for near or far-sightedness

  • Diagnostic tests

    • Electroretinograms to measure retinal function
    • Ultrasound designed specifically for the eye with 10 mHz and 20 mHz probes to look for retinal detachments or eye tumors
    • Blood tests to search for causes of uveitis and pre-anesthesia
    • Blood pressure measurement with Doppler

  • Eye surgery

    • Cataract phacoemulsification surgery (with or without lens replacement)
    • Cryosurgery for distichia (abnormal eyelid hairs), luxated (displaced) lenses and eye cancers
    • Diode laser surgery for retinal detachments, eye cancers, and glaucoma
    • Microsurgery with an operating microscope for corneal ulcers and infections, eye injuries, cancers, etc.
    • Biopsies
    • Intraocular silicone prosthetic (ISP) surgery
    • Eyelid surgery for entropion (eyelids rolling in), cherry eye, masses, ectopic cilia (displaced hair growing inside the eyelid)
    • Salivary Parotid duct transpositions for severe, medically unresponsive dry eye
    • Many others!  Call us if you have specific questions.

Our goal is to provide the highest quality veterinary eye services in the region.  We are a progressive, state-of-the-art ophthalmology practice!

We have an on-site pharmacy with medications for dry eye, conjunctivitis, infections, uveitis, glaucoma, inflammatory diseases and other eye conditions.  


10.  What species do we treat?

Everything except humans!  The species we treat include:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Horses
  • Rabbits
  • Birds
  • Camelids - Alpacas, Llamas
  • Ferrets
  • Rodents
  • Hedgehogs
  • Cattle
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Reptiles
  • Non-human primates
  • Many others!

11.  What is our fee structure? 

We provide very competitive pricing for genuine specialty eye exams, diagnostics and services.  Our eye examination fees include Schirmer tear tests for dry eye, Fluorescein stain for corneal ulcers and Tonometry for glaucoma.  We do not charge additional fees for these tests.

The initial examination fee is the highest and emergencies will have additional fees.  Recheck examinations are reduced from the initial exam fees.

The cost of medications, other diagnostic tests, and treatment procedures are in addition to the exam charges.  We will provide you with a written estimate for major diagnostics and surgical treatments.  We typically require a deposit on the estimated charges for surgical patients or overnight hospitalized patients.


12.  What are the payment options?

  • Credit card - Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express
  • Check by electronic conversion
  • Cash
  • Care Credit

Payment is due at the time of services.


If you need more information or have additional questions that are not covered here, please feel free to contact us at (512) 255-8700.

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