UC-Davis expands equine ophthalmology services to meet demand


Veterinarians will have access to specialty tests and procedures for complex cases.

In response to increased demand for equine eye services, the University of California-Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital has opened the Equine Ophthalmology Service.

Historically, equine eye cases have been handled at UC-Davis by multi-species ophthalmologists. Now, Mary Lassaline, DVM, PhD, MA, DACVO, will see those patients and offer advanced diagnostics in addition to routine, complex and emergency medical and surgical care for horses with a variety of ocular disorders, including corneal ulcers, corneal and eyelid cancer, equine recurrent uveitis, cataracts and glaucoma.

Lassaline earned her veterinary degree from Michigan State University, and she served a yearlong internship at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. She completed a residency in veterinary ophthalmology at the University of Florida before spending two years in private practice. She has spent the last eight years developing and leading the equine ophthalmology program as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania. With a particular focus on equine corneal disease, Lassaline's research interests span the scope of equine eye problems.

David Wilson, director of the veterinary teaching hospital at UC-Davis, says Lassaline will be an asset.

“There certainly is no shortage of equine patients in need of advanced ophthalmology services, so there is a lot of potential to grow the service,” he says. “We feel very fortunate to have recruited such a talented and experienced equine ophthalmologist as Mary to expand the services we can provide to referring veterinarians and horse owners.” ??

The Equine Ophthalmology Service offers treatment of corneal ulcers, corneal and eyelid cancer, equine recurrent uveitis, cataracts and glaucoma. Diagnostic testing offerings include slip lamp biomicroscopy, tonometry, corneal culture and cytology, electroretinogram, high-frequency ultrasound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. The center will also offer corneal grafting procedures for deep corneal ulcers, cyclosporine implants for equine recurrent uveitis, cataract surgery, excision and cryotherapy or radiation therapy for eye and eyelid tumors.

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