WINTER EDITION: January 2017
From the Desk of Dr. Brookshire
Welcome to 2017! A new year and fresh start are underway, as we dive back into work, daily schedules and (hopefully!) attention to any resolutions we have made. One resolution that you may wish to consider is to schedule an eye wellness exam for your pet. Exams are especially recommended if you have noticed your pet exhibiting any eye redness, swelling, discharge, cloudiness, squinting or bumping into objects in your home. A check-up is also a good preventive measure if your pet has a genetic or predisposed condition such as corneal ulcers, cataracts or glaucoma.  Learn which breeds are prone to these conditions in our focus feature on ocular health, below. And, if you are interested in scheduling an exam in 2017, please consider our practice. For the New Year, we're offering a special 30 percent discount on wellness exams if you book your appointment by Jan. 31. Just call us at 757-749-4838 for details and be sure to mention "New Year's Offer."  Here's to good health - for you and your pets! Best wishes for the year at hand from all of us Animal Vision Center of Virginia.
Dr. Heather Brookshire
FOCUS on Ocular Health 
Many severe ocular conditions can be prevented or avoided by identifying them early and becoming familiar with the conditions for which your pet may be predisposed. For instance, many brachycephalic breeds (dogs with short noses) are predisposed to the development of corneal ulcers due to increased exposure of their eyes, among other factors. 
Many purebred dogs (especially Poodles, Labradors, Golden retrievers, Boston terriers, miniature Schnauzers, Cocker spaniels, etc.) are predisposed to heritable cataract formation. While we currently cannot prevent cataracts from forming, when caught early, surgery can be performed with a high success rate to remove the cataract and restore vision. 
Glaucoma (increased eye pressure) is another common heritable/genetic condition that can be successfully treated with early detection. When undiagnosed and untreated, this condition can cause a chronic headache sensation for your pet and irreversible blindness. Breeds predisposed to glaucoma include the Basset hound, Cocker spaniel, Boston terrier, Flat-coated retriever, Golden retriever, Chow Chow, Shiba inu, Shar pei, Poodle, Siberian husky and many more. 

For more information on your pet's specific breed, an excellent resource is the Inherited Diseases in Dogs Database . The directory, compiled at Cambridge Veterinary School, is great not only for heritable eye diseases, but all diseases suspected to have a genetic basis. If you feel that your pet may be at risk for eye disease, it is always a good idea to have the eyes evaluated by your family veterinarian or a veterinary ophthalmologist to catch the problem early and help prevent blindness.

Meet Rosie, a Corneal Ulcer Success Story
We've seen a number of pet patients recently with deep corneal ulcers that have required surgery. Rosie, a sweet little six-pound Yorkie-Poo was one such patient. These ulcers typically form when there is a problem on the surface of the eye that leads to bacteria entering the cornea, ultimately digesting a hole into it. Since the cornea serves as a clear dome on the eye's surface, it can lead to decreased vision and the possibility of rupture and loss of the eye. 

Rosie developed a deep corneal ulcer due to low tear production. This condition, along with exposure problems and eyelid abnormalities, can lead to the breakdown of the tear film-the initial layer of defense of the eye. Correcting these abnormalities while they are still mild can help to avoid vision-threatening (and costly) problems. If you notice that your pet has occasional tearing or mucous discharge, or if there is redness or squinting present, it would be a good idea to schedule a wellness exam. Without this preventative surgery, Rosie was at severe risk for loss of her eye.

In This Issue

Next Lunch & Learn Series: 
Canine Glaucoma, Jan. 18

Learn all about canine glaucoma, from diagnosis to treatment, during our next "Lunch & Learn" program on Wednesday, Jan. 18 here in our office. Since we launched this free series last year, we've hosted four programs, which have provided nearly 40 hours of continuing education to local veterinarians. If you are a veterinarian and interested in joining us this month, please RSVP by Jan. 16 to  

Art-Inspired Fun at Pinot's Palette! 
A toast to our referring veterinarians and their staff members who helped us celebrate Animal Vision Center of Virginia's birthday (we turned one!), Oct. 21 at Pinot's Palette.  As you can see, it was a convivial and relaxing night at this new "paint and sip" venue in Norfolk's Ghent area. Guests submitted photos of their pets in advance, and the Pinot's staff provided canvases with the images embedded, a la paint by number! We are grateful to our local veterinary practices that refer our services. It's been a rewarding year in business, thanks to their help.

521 Old Great Neck
Road, Suite 2
Virginia Beach, VA
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm

Tuesday, Thursday
10:00am - 6:30pm

One Saturday a Month
10:00am - 2:00pm

View on Instagram Follow us on Instagram   |    Review us on  Like us on Facebook Facebook   Find us on Google+ Google   Find us on Yelp Yelp 
Visit our Website   |   Send us an Email    |   Call us at  757-749-4838

Providing quality ophthalmic care for animals of all shapes and sizes, Animal Vision Center of Virginia is owned and operated by Dr. Heather Brookshire, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist. 

The Center is located at 521 Old Great Neck Road, Suite 2, in Virginia Beach, VA 23454.