Your veterinarian may seek the assistance of a veterinary ophthalmologist if your pet has a condition affecting its eyes. After consultation, an ophthalmologist might then examine your pet and perform any complex procedures involving the eye. Veterinary ophthalmologists are specialists that typically only treat animals referred to them by another veterinarian. A veterinary ophthalmologist then works with the referring veterinarian to find the most effective way to help your pet.
Veterinary ophthalmologists train for a minimum of 4 years in an internship and residency after completing veterinary school and obtaining their Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM). At the completion of training, they must then complete a rigorous set of certifying examinations administered by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO). Those passing the exams become Diplomates of the ACVO (DACVO) and are licensed to practice as veterinary ophthalmologists. Diplomates of the ACVO continually improve their skills through continuing education programs, by attending conferences, by presenting research in scholarly journals, and by training the next generation of interns and residents interested in ophthalmology. Veterinary ophthalmologists must keep up with the progressive changes in their profession.