From the Desk of Dr. Brookshire
Are you enjoying the summer weather with your pets? This is a great time of year for our furry friends; especially for dogs who get to swim, eat frozen treats, dine alfresco with us at pooch-friendly outdoor cafes and take long afternoon naps (they don't call these the dog days of summer for nothing!). We all know how irritating a long day of sun and wind exposure can be on our own eyes, and our pets are no different. As you're out and about, especially at the beach or your favorite recreational spot, take care to protect your pet's eyes against sand and wind-borne particles. Check this issue for a list of lubricating solutions to have at the ready. You can also "meet" Emily Etheredge, our newest staff member, learn about our upcoming Veterinarian Appreciation Night (date coming soon!) and feel your heart skip when you see Hunter, a sweet mini Appaloosa therapy horse. Stay safe - and have a great rest of your summer!
All the best, 
Dr. Heather Brookshire
How to Avoid Summer Eye Issues that Could Cause Corneal Ulcers 
It's so much fun to bring our pets to the beach or park, but we can occasionally see ocular problems such as conjunctivitis ("pink eye") or corneal ulcers from the irritating effects of sand and wind-borne grass and particles on the surface of the eye. Pets are especially prone to these medical issues since they are so much closer to the ground! 
As an example, meet Ein. We saw this 10 -month old Corgi earlier this year to examine a non-healing corneal ulcer. His owner had been treating him for the past two weeks, with no improvement. When he told us that Ein loves to bound through the grassy fields near home, we discovered the culprit - a large and bristly grass awn that had become imbedded behind his third eyelid. As you will see in this video, it took just a moment to retrieve the irksome grass particle. Ein, and his owner, were quite relieved!
There are many months ahead for our pets to enjoy a romp in the great outdoors, so please keep the following solutions close at hand to administer relief to irritated eyes:
  • To flush out sand or wind-born particles, use a sterile saline eye-irrigating solution to rinse out your pet's eyes if your notice any squinting or redness.   
  • Try using an over-the-counter topical lubricating drop (such as Genteal gel, Refresh pm, Blink, and Systane) after a long day at the beach to help sooth your pet's irritated eyes.
  • If your pet is used to spending most of their time indoors, a sudden change in the amount of time spent outdoors during the summer can occasionally cause a flare-up of allergies (both systemic and ocular). Ocular signs of allergies can include increased redness, itchiness, pawing at the eyes and increased discharge from the eyes. Use one of the lubricating drops mentioned above, or try an over-the-counter topical antihistamine drop such as Zaditor, Allaway, Naphcon-A, or Claritin-eye to temporarily alleviate your pet's discomfort. 
  • Finally, and this is very important, if your pet does not get better after 1-2 days of trying these at-home remedies, seek urgent veterinary care from either your local family veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist, as eye conditions can progress very rapidly.
Coming Soon! Referring Veterinarian Appreciation Night at Pinot's Palette
It's a pleasure to work in partnership with many of our region's excellent veterinarians. They refer their clients to our practice, allowing us to share in the ocular care of their pet patients. There's no higher calling than that! To express our appreciation, Animal Vision Center of Virginia will be hosting a referring veterinarian appreciation event this summer at Pinot's Palette. This is a new "paint and sip" venue in Norfolk's Ghent area that pairs wine tastings with a professionally-guided painting workshop.  The theme of our private painting party will be -  you guessed it - pet portraits! Stay tuned. We'll have a date and details soon about this fun thank-you event!    

Meet Hunter!  
This photo of Hunter brought so many "oohs and ahhhs" from our Facebook followers that we had to share it with our Insights friends. This adorable mini Appaloosa foal was bred to be a therapy horse. Her owner brought her to see us in the spring due to an entropion of the upper eyelids, which resulted in rubbing of hairs on the cornea and secondary severe corneal ulcers. She recovered beautifully from the surgery and is warming hearts all over Hampton Roads. Isn't she cute?

In This Issue
Meet the Staff
We have a great team on staff here at the Animal Vision Center of Virginia, and it is out pleasure to introduce you to: 

Emily Etheredge, Receptionist
Originally from Belleville, Wis., Emily moved to Virginia Beach in 2008 when she was stationed with the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station Oceana. She served our country in the armed forces for three years, and has continued to further her education since exiting the military. She has an Associate's degree in medical administration and is on schedule to receive her Bachelor's degree in healthcare management in September. Emily is the mother of two great kids, Reese (6) and Lily (3) - and two cute pets, Mia, an Austrian Shepherd, and Moss, an English Mastiff. Like all of our staff, she came to Animal Vision Center of Virginia for her love of animals - and we are glad to have her! Say hello to Emily next time you are here!

What Our Clients Say  

"Dr. Brookshire is a talented doctor, who has helped many of our clients resolve their pets' ophthalmic issues, including our own Dr. Redding, whose horse, Flame, was treated by Dr. Brookshire. We highly recommend Animal Vision Center of Virginia to every clinic.
- The Team at Hickory Veterinary Hospital
521 Old Great Neck
Road, Suite 2
Virginia Beach, VA
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Tuesday, Thursday
10:00am - 6:30pm

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10:00am - 2:00pm