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Tammy F.
Tammy F., Not an active Expert
Category: Dog
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Where can I find a good veterinary opthamologist

Resolved Question:

I have a toy poodle (female, 8 1/2 months old, 6 pounds) that has excessive tearing and tear staining. A local vet put her on low dose Panamycin to take care of staining, but tearing is excessive. The vet said she could try to flush the tear ducts, but I would prefer not to have her undergo anestesia more than once for the eyes. Where can I find a good veterinary opthamologist?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 9 years ago.

To find a good veterinary opthamologist in your area, you can go to Go to the CERF link and then into the ACVO Clinic List. There you can search by state for a Doctor near you.

People often complain about this in this breed because the tears will darken the fur.

Tears and saliva are both very acidic and that could be the reason that the fur is turning brown.

There are a lot of different whiteners that you can buy over the counter. Your vet can probably recommend a good one but you probably benefit from checking with your groomer first. They deal with this problem on a daily basis so have a broader knowledge basis.

If she is licking herself a lot, you may want to have her checked and see if allergies are a problem.

Another treatment for this is giving your dog bottled or distilled water instead of tap water. Many breeders of white colored dogs swear that 1/2 tablet of tums, 2 times daily works wonders OR teaspoon of white cider vinegar added to drinking water. (it supposedly changes the ph in the tears... yeah, right....) Check with your vet before trying this one because I have never used it myself.

Tetracycline is the drug of choice for this common tear problem with the breed and is readily available for an adult dog from your veterinarian, (it cannot be given to puppies or pregnant bitches as it will stain juvienile teeth).
Let me know if you have more questions!

Good luck!

Tammy F., Not an active Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9168
Experience: Not an active Expert
Tammy F. and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I visited the Clinic List and found it to be a subset of the veterinary opthamologists in Texas. For example, the list does not contain the listing for Dr. Terri Baldwin in Austin.

I guess I need the advice a veterinary opthamologist to decide if I should have my pet undergo tear duct surgery at the hands of a local vet or should I take her to a specialist?
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 9 years ago.

Honestly, I find that most regular veterinarians are well equipped to handle tear duct problems. I only see the opthamologist if it's something that is out of their realm.

But most vets can handle a procedure like you're describing. The issue is really not the eye, it's with the ducts. So, vets are capable.

I would want to try the high dose antibiotics before I try the surgery, though. Just as a last resort.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
What percentage of toy poodles do not have tear ducts?
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 9 years ago.

I am sorry but I don't have any data on that. But I can tell you that you want to preserve those tear ducts if at all possible. They are necessary to lubricate the eye and without them your pet can end up with a condition called "dry eye." Dry eye results in blindness. It requires daily medication to lubricate the eye and it's pretty expensive. And, even then, many dogs just don't have enough lubrication for healthy eyes.

So, you definitely want to save those ducts.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The problem is not with dry eyes. The problem is excessive drainage of tears from the eyes. The antibiotics do not stop the tearing, my vet told me. The antibiotics only stop the staining of the hair. What I need to know is: is there a way to tell if the eye ducts are blocked, or if there are no eye ducts prior to subjecting my dog to anesthesia and surgery? And secondly, if it is advisable to pursue surgery as a course of action or should I just live with the tearing?
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 9 years ago.

I understand. You asked about the dog not having ducts. So, I wanted to explain about dry eye, which is the product of no ducts or blocked ducts.

You're correct. The antibiotics do not stop the tearing. So, your second task is to find out what's causing the tearing. In most dogs, it's allergies. These may be allergies to grass, pollen, cleaners, foods, etc. Your vet can perform allergy testing to tell you what she's specifically allergic to.

If the tearing is not a problem to you or her, you can live with it. But that's completely up to you.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Your answer to my first question was incomplete. I found more veterinary opthamologists in Texas using Google. I was looking for a referral to the best in the field.
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 9 years ago.

Your question became much more than just "help me find an opthamologist." But you're still not required to accept my answer unless it is helpful to you.

You didn't tell me that you were in Texas. You just said you wanted to find one. So, I sent a directory.

Here's the list for Texas:

Animal Eye Clinic 5820 W. Interstate 20 Highway Arlington, TX 76017(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Animal Ophthalmology Clinic 4444 Trinity Mills Suite 201 Dallas, TX 75287(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Gulf Coast Animal Eye ClinicXXXXX Houston, TX 77055(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Eye Care for Animals 900 Country Club Santa Teresa, NM 88008(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Marc Rainbow, DVM, MS, DACVO South Texas Veterinary Ophthalmology 503 E. Sonterra Blvd. San Antonio, TX 78258(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Nicholas J. Millichamp, BVetMed, PhD, MRCVS Joan Dziezyc, DVM SACS College of Veterinary Medicine Texas A&M College Station, TX 77843(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Central Texas Veterinary Ophthalmology, P.L.L.C. Nicholas J. Millichamp, BVetMed, PhD, MRCVS Joan Dziezyc, DVMXXXXX Austin, TX 78758(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Audrey Yu-Speight, DVM, MS, DACVO Veterinary Eye Centers, PLLC Austin, TX(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Many of these opthamologists come highly recommended.

At this point, I'm still not sure that you need one. But that is completely up to you.

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