Small Animal


The practice has invested in additional equipment to support investigation and treatment in this area including a slit-lamp biomicrosope, a tonometer (for measuring pressure within the eye), a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope, gonioscopy lens and specialised ophthalmic operating equipment, including operating microscope.

Mark Ames BSc CertVOpthal CertVDI MRCVS, RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Ophthalmology operates mainly out of our Thatcham branch and will see a wide variety of ophthalmological referrals.

Some example ophthalmic problems


Glaucoma is a condition characterised by high pressure within the eye. This is a painful condition which leads to loss of sight if not treated early. It is detected by measurement of the pressure within the eye with a tonometer. One of the causes of this condition is a genetically predisposed restriction of the drainage of the eye, which can be examined by using a gonioscopy lens.

Corneal injuries

This poor fellow had been scratched in the eye during a fight with another cat. Unfortunately there was too much damage to the internal structures of the eye for it to be saved and it was removed under general anaesthetic. It shows that even something as simple as a scratch can turn nasty and is always worth being checked by a vet.

Melting ulcers

Melting ulcers are a very serious problem. One cause is a bacterial infection which eats away at the eye surface following an injury, which is why we usually treat eye ulcers with antibiotics. If not treated urgently, the eye ruptures and usually requires removal. If the ulcer is deep, surgery such as a pedicle graft may be required (a surgery in which a flap of conjunctiva is used to patch the ulcer).


This little West Highland White terrier is having his tear production measured. The Westie is among several breeds of dog that are commonly affected by a condition called 'dry eye' (Keratoconjunctivitis sica). The tear gland stops making tears and the eye begins to dry out and becomes inflamed. This condition is usually treatable if caught early.

Corneal Sequestrum

This is a condition mainly seen in cats. A corneal sequestrum is an area of hard black/brown discolouration of the cornea which can occur following an injury. In some cases it causes little trouble, but it can irritate the eye and block vision. The sequestrum can be surgically removed.