What does it mean to be a Board Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist?

To become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, or a Board Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist, a person must become a veterinarian and then complete at least a 1 year rotating medicine and surgery internship. They then go on to complete a 3 year residency in which the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology has set criteria for specific training and caseload requirements in a variety of surgical and medical treatment procedures. The resident is supervised by at least one DACVO and is monitored by committees of the ACVO before, during, and after the residency training program is completed. Once the residency is completed, the veterinarian is required to write a certifying examination. This is a multi-day process consisting of multiple written and practical components. Once successful, the veterinarian is recognized as a ‘Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists’. No-one may use this title unless they have completed all of these steps.

Through Dr. Buechner's services, VCA Canada Guardian is able to offer both medical and surgical care for the wide variety of ophthalmic conditions.

Some of the advanced tests we offer include:

Complete ophthalmic examination including retinal examination, intraocular pressure and gonioscopy.
Ocular/orbital ultrasonography
Orbital radiology or CT evaluation

We offer both routine and advanced ophthalmic surgical therapies which include:

Enucleation (eye removal)/Evisceration
Intrascleral silicone prosthesis
Intracapsular lens extraction (for luxated lenses)
Diamond Burr
Keratectomy/linear grid
keratotomy for non-healing corneal ulcerations
Phacoemulsification (cataract surgery)
Plus lens implantation
Glaucoma Surgery
EndoCyclophotocoagulation (with laser)
Transcleral cyclophotocoagulation
Transcleral cyclocryothermy
Eyelid mass removal
lip to lid transposition
Ectopic Cilia
Corneal Transplants
Conjunctival Graft
Prolapsed Gland of the third eyelid repair (Cherry Eye repair)
Parotid duct transposition for severe dry eye
Treatment of both extraocular and intraocular neoplasms (cancer)
Ocular Foreign Bodies

State of the Art

Our fully equipped, ophthalmic operating room uses state-of-the-art anesthetic monitoring and ophthalmic surgical equipment.

What to Expect

Patients are seen at the time of consultation and elective surgery is planned at a future date which is acceptable for the condition; in the case of more emergent surgery, the surgery will usually be completed the same day depending on the need for additional treatment or concurrent health conditions. Depending on circumstances, we may be able to perform a consultation and surgery the same day.

Safe anesthesia and appropriate pain management are an important part of every surgical procedure. Our surgical team incudes Registered Veterinary Technologists who are trained in specific anesthetic and diagnostic techniques to make every procedure as safe and comfortable as possible.

After any surgical procedure, you will be provided with a detailed set of discharge instructions. One of our technologists will review these with you, and we will answer any questions you have to help optimize your pet’s recovery.

We will also follow up with your veterinarian so that everybody involved in your pet’s care has up-to-date information.

What Specialized Training Does A Veterinary Ophthalmologist Have?

Just like a human ophthalmologist, veterinarians interested in ophthalmology must seek additional, intensive training to become a specialist and earn this prestigious credentialing. In veterinary medicine, specialty status is granted by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO). A veterinarian that has received this specialty status will list the initials, 'DACVO,' after his or her DVM degree. Or, the veterinarian may indicate that he or she is a 'Diplomate' of the ACVO. The word 'Diplomate' typically means the specialist has achieved the following:

Obtained a traditional 8 year veterinary degree (four years of college plus four years of veterinary school).

Usually has completed a one year internship in small animal medicine and surgery.

Completed an additional three year residency in ophthalmology at a veterinary teaching hospital.

Completed the credentialing application process established by the ACVO, which includes publishing credits, case reports, and a resume.

Passed a rigorous, multi-day examination consisting of written, practical, and surgical sections.
Veterinary Ophtalmologists are Veterinarian Specialists in Cat and Dog Eye Problems
Need an Eye Vet? Learn more about VCA's board certified Veterinary Ophthalmologists and how they can help treat your cat or dog's eye problems.

After completing and passing all of the above, the veterinarian is recognized by his or her peers as a board certified specialist in veterinary ophthalmology. As you can see, when your pet needs the specialized care of a veterinary ophthalmologist, all of the intensive training and additional education outlined above is focused on helping him or her to recover from or enjoy the highest quality of life while living with the condition.

Our Ophthalmology Team

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