Equine Ophthalmology at UC Davis

Ophthalmologists performing OCT imaging on a horse.
Dr. Mills using OCT Imaging to examine a case of non-ulcerative keratitis in CEH Teaching Herd Horse Dusty.

OCT Imaging

Equipment to conduct OCT imaging is new to the Ophthalmology Service since fall of 2023. The technique uses light waves to capture cross-section images of the cornea and retina at  nearly microscopic levels. This non-invasive approach can assess deep ulcers in the eye, informing diagnostic decisions and enabling ophthalmologists to track healing. UC Davis is one of the only equine services in the country that offers this technology.

The Equine Ophthalmology Service at the UC Davis veterinary hospital provides advanced diagnostics and routine, complex, and emergency medical and surgical care to horses with various ocular disorders. With expertise in treating corneal ulcers, corneal and eyelid cancer, equine recurrent uveitis (ERU), cataracts, glaucoma, and more, the Ophthalmology Service regularly receives equine patients as referrals from veterinarians and veterinary ophthalmologists, as well as direct owner-booked appointments.

The Center for Equine Health (CEH) works closely with the Ophthalmology Service to care for client-owned horses through our layup program, as well as our own CEH Teaching Herd Horses. The center supported the acquisition of a new A.R.C FOX 810nm diode laser for use in the Equine Ophthalmology Service to expand treatment options for cancer on and around the eye and various ulcerative and non-ulcerative corneal diseases with photodynamic therapy (PDT).

Specialized tests and diagnostics include:

  • Slit lamp biomicroscopy
  • Tonometry (measurement of intraocular pressure)
  • Corneal cytology and culture
  • Electroretinogram (ERG - a specialized test of retinal function)
  • High-frequency ultrasound
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging for the cornea and retina (see box above)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Surgical and microsurgical procedures include:

  • Corneal grafting procedures for deep corneal ulcers
  • Surgery and photodynamic therapy, cryotherapy, or radiation therapy for tumors of the eye and eyelids
  • Photodynamic therapy for corneal diseases such as immune-mediated keratitis (IMMK)
  • Suprachoroidal cyclosporine implants for ERU
  • Cataract surgery

The faculty, residents, and technicians offer a team approach to each patient’s care and provide 24/7 emergency coverage for equine patients. To schedule an appointment with the Equine Ophthalmology Service, contact the UC Davis veterinary hospital’s Large Animal Clinic at (530) 752-0290. 

Dr. Kathryn Good
Kathryn Good, DVM, DACVO, Professor - Chief of Service
Dr. Lauren Charnock
Lauren Charnock, DVM, MS, DACVO, Assistant Professor
Dr. Soohyun Kim
Soohyun Kim, DVM, PhD, DACVO, Assistant Professor
Dr. Brian Leonard
Brian Leonard, DVM, PhD, DACVO, Associate Professor
Dr. Bianca Martins
Bianca C. Martins, DVM, PhD, DACVO, Associate Professor
Dr. Sara Thomasy
Sara M. Thomasy, DVM, PhD, DACVO, Professor
Dr. Sara Adelman
Sara Adelman, DVM, MS, Resident IV
Dr. Erinn Mills
Erinn Mills, DVM, Resident I
Dr. Sangwan Park
Sangwan Park, DVM, Resident II
Dr. Karolina Roszak
Karolina Roszak, DVM, Resident II
Dr. Brett Story
Bret Story, DVM, Resident III