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Introducing…. Our Ophthalmology Service!

We are so excited to introduce you to the fantastic services we will be offering at The Ralph, as well as the wonderful people who make it all possible.

First up, is ophthalmology, an area of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases of the eye and the rest of the visual system.

So much of what we do in our lives depends on being able to see. Without vision, we lose a significant part of living. The same is true for non-human animals.

Fortunately, there is much that can be done to treat, prevent and slow the progression of eye disorders.  And we will be very well-equipped to do this. Not only will we have fantastic equipment but also a super-talented duo leading our ophthalmology service.

Our aim is to treat your pet’s eye problem as we would for our own pets – to relieve pain, and to maintain, or restore, the best possible vision.

The Ophthalmology Service

Our ophthalmology service will offer standard and advanced diagnostic tests in conjunction with routine, complex and emergency care for a wide range of ocular conditions, including:

  • Cataract and lens luxation surgery
  • Entropion/ectropion – routine and complex
  • Third eyelid surgery including “cherry eye”
  • Abnormal eyelashes (cryosurgery, electrolysis)
  • Corneal disease – medical and surgical management including a range of grafting techniques for complex corneal ulcers
  • Surgical management of refractory “dry eye”
  • Glaucoma
  • Management of ocular tumours
  • Management of ocular trauma
  • Sudden onset blindness
  • Neuro-ophthalmic disease
  • Laser therapy
  • BVA/KC/ISDS hereditary eye disease clinics

This will all be facilitated by an extensive range of specialist equipment – including a Zeiss operating microscope with a camera and video recording facilities and our “Whitestar Signature Pro” phacoemulsification unit for cataracts surgery.

Our ophthalmology service will operate a 24-7-365 emergency service.

Making it all possible…

Heidi Featherstone

Heidi will lead our ophthalmology service and is dedicated to ensuring that all patients with an eye problem, however small and however serious, will receive the best possible care and attention at all times.  She will be involved in all levels of care; from consultations to the operating theatre and in the ward.  Her clinical interests include corneal disease and the surgical management of cataract.

Heidi graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1991. She worked in general practice for seven years before starting her ophthalmology training at the Animal Health Trust. She gained her RCVS Diploma in Veterinary Ophthalmology in 2001, and her European Diploma in Veterinary Ophthalmology in 2005.

She is the current Vice-President of the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ECVO), and enjoys teaching undergraduates at two veterinary schools, as well as training post-graduates.

Heidi’s partner, Emma, is also a specialist vet, but in pathology, not ophthalmology. They have two dogs, Dave the Jack Russell terrier who is tennis ball obsessed, and Davina (aka Furball), a Norfolk terrier.  Heidi says that “whilst the duo ‘Dave & Davina’ sounds cute, they are pretty independent! Terriers are prone to eye disease (primary lens luxation) but they have both passed the age of the greatest risk, so fingers-crossed…!”

Heidi and Emma also have four pet Ouessant sheep, the smallest breed of sheep in the world. Lenny follows Heidi to the greenhouse to eat tomatoes and is Dave’s best mate!

Heidi is going to be working alongside fellow Ophthalmologist….

Marisa Perez

Marisa is from Valencia, Spain, and after graduating in her hometown in 2005, she spent several years working in general practice. In 2008 she obtained her Certificate in Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology from Toulouse University, France, and then worked for several years at a dedicated ophthalmology referral centre in Valencia.

Marisa later moved to the Canary Islands and then to Sydney, where she had the opportunity to develop her research and clinical skills. She has always been interested in both small animal and exotic and wildlife ophthalmology, having had opportunities to collaborate with exotic animal services and several zoos and aquariums.

She has published peer-reviewed articles, lectured at international meetings, and teaches the exotic animal module for the Diploma in Ophthalmology of the University of Madrid.

Marisa shares her life with her partner, a specialist in exotic animal medicine, Mojito the cat and Yoda the dog.

Heidi and Marisa will also be supported by a much wider team including, where necessary, clinicians from our other services.

Update February 2020: Marisa has left Team Ralph to pursue her passions and we wish her all the very best.

Take care,

The Ralph Team

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