What is a DACVO and Why Does My Pet Need One?

Cute dog during a consultation

Just like humans, pets need healthy eyes, too! Just as a person may need to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist, your pet may benefit from seeing a veterinary ophthalmologist.

A veterinary ophthalmologist is a veterinarian who specializes in diseases of the eye. Like all veterinarians, a veterinary ophthalmologist completes a 4-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Following vet school, veterinary ophthalmologists follow a path similar to the path taken by human medical specialists. Extensive additional training includes a 1-year general internship (where they rotate through different specialty areas) and a 3-year residency program dedicated solely to studying and treating eye disease. Following residency, veterinary ophthalmologists must pass a rigorous multi-day certification exam that includes written and surgical portions. Only veterinarians who have completed an accredited residency program and who have passed the specialty exam may use the title Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (DACVO).

So What Does All This Mean?
Your Veterinary Ophthalmologist Really Loves Your Pet’s Eyes!

In addition to specialized training, veterinary ophthalmologists have access to specialized equipment not typically available in primary care veterinary clinics. This equipment allows for an accurate diagnosis, tailored treatment, and optimal outcomes. We always think of our favorite organ as small but mighty. That said, given its small size and delicate tissues, the eye presents some unique challenges to examination and treatment. This is why we are here to work alongside you and your primary care veterinarian as part of your pet’s care team.

For more information, please visit the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists website at https://www.acvo.org/.

Please also check out our “What to Expect at Your Pet’s Eye Exam” section to learn about what the eye exam will look like.