More mistakes are made by not looking rather than not knowing | Centre for Veterinary Education

More mistakes are made by not looking rather than not knowing

Picture 1. Recognise this? See below.

Top 3 Benefits you will gain by participating in ‘The Eyes Have It!’ Ophthalmology Conference in Melbourne

By Robin Stanley, conference convenor 

Maintaining decent vision and keeping eyes healthy is equally as important for animals as for humans, as low vision and blindness cause a decrease in the quality of life. Ophthalmology is a discipline where many veterinarians lack confidence so the chance to participate in a conference dedicated solely to this topic is opportune for many.

Robin has distilled the 3 main benefits:

  1. Making eye exam and differential diagnosis easier for eye cases

    Gaining more confidence with eye cases.  More mistakes are made by not looking rather than not knowing.  After this conference you will feel much more confident dealing with eye cases.  After having illuminating eye examination presentations from David Maggs you will be keen to see all the eye cases that present to your practice.  I am hoping that my differential diagnosis lecture gives you a greater insight as to what that presenting eye complaint could be.

  2. Case studies

    One of the main things we have done differently in this conference is to end each day with case studies.  We hope that this will reinforce the information from the day’s presentations by going through case study material.  Eye cases will be much easier to handle after being involved and seeing how the specialists handle eye cases.
  3. Seeing lots of eye photos

    No pun intended but Ophthalmology is a visual discipline.  One of the things that all the presenters are keen on is having great photos of eye cases.  The presentations in this conference will have lots of photos that clearly illustrate what you should be seeing.  You will have lots to see in each presentation and then you will see even more at the end of each day with the case study session.  Having great images and understanding the clinical signs will really help you when you see eye cases.


On a side note… I was fortunate to be one of the speakers at the FASAVA meeting on the Gold Coast last year.  Over the last 33 years I have sat in lots of lectures.  I was fortunate to sit in some of David’s lectures at that FASAVA meeting… he is a terrific speaker and I really enjoyed his presentations and the way he made it seem so easy.  Like me, I am sure that you will learn lots from David’s presentations.


David Maggs BVSc (Hons) Dipl. ACVO

Ex-pat David Maggs has impressive international credentials, his major interests being infectious ocular disease and ocular surface disease. Currently at UC-Davis, he is an author of Slatter’s Fundamentals of Veterinary Ophthalmology, an editorial board member for the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, and a founding board member of the American Board of Veterinary Ophthalmology. Full bio here…


Pictures say a thousand words

This conference will feature some amazing ophthalmology images from cases that Robin, David and fellow co-presenters have treated. A small sample of what to expect has been provided by Robin, as below:-



Picture 1.SNS Cat - Beware of dilated pupils in older cats.

This suggests high blood pressure, or glaucoma. How can you tell that this is an older cat? You can see slight opacity in the centre of the lens - this is senile nuclear sclerosis.

Picture 2 - Uveitis and keratitic precipitates (KPs).

This is a diabetic dog and his eyes have gone cloudy! Diabetics are especially prone to uveitis. In this case you can see KPs. This is a sign of uveitis - inflammation. It is very important whenever you diagnose diabetes - remember about the eyes. Start a topical NSAID sooner rather than later.

Picture 3 - Early Feline - Conjunctivitis in cats is usually infectious.

What treatment is needed for this cat and what are the likely complications with the conjunctiva being so swollen?

Picture 4 - Toxoplasmosis - this cat has had uveitis.

As part of our eye examination we check the fundus and saw these lesions.  Blood tests confirmed our diagnosis of toxoplasmosis.  In this conference we will be discussing ocular signs of systemic disease.

Picture 5 - progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).


This 8-year-old Labrador has had slow progressive vision loss. With a history of poor night vision, you should suspect PRA.



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