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Questions to Ask Your Veterinarian Ophthalmologist Regarding Ophthalmology Exam Fees


At Eye Clinic for Animals, we will provide you with an honest understanding of what you can expect to pay for your pets needs. Because of the complexity of the various eye problems, it is impossible to quote one fee without understanding what type of exam diagnostics we will need to perform to determine the problem and what course of action to take.


As you shop around, it will be helpful for you to ask the following questions to avoid surprises in additional costs and to ensure you are getting an accurate comparison.


What is included in the base exam?

Is tonometry (pressure test) included in the base exam?

Does the doctor perform the exam and exam diagnostics?

If additional exam diagnostics are required such as a fluorescein stain or a Schirmer tear test, how much will these tests affect the base exam fee?

Understanding the Complexity of Fees

The complexity and quantity of all of the different eye problems, within a variety of species, and breeds is enormous. The eye is one of the most complex organs in the body. Sometimes eyes problems are caused  by trauma, whereas others are purely eye diseases, and yet other eye diseases extend from diseases of the body. At times, these problems can only be diagnosed by the ophthalmologist using specialized ophthalmic equipment, with years of advanced training and experience.


We recognize that having a pet with an eye disease can be stressful and emotional. This is due to the love for your pet and the concern about the potential financial impact for your pets eye care. Our goal is to provide you and your pet a relaxed, caring, unpressured environment to diagnose your pets eye problems and discuss the findings in an intimate atmosphere.


Dr. Cooley’s practice philosophy is that it is important for her to be present in the examination and perform all of the examination testing. This allows her to become well acquainted with you and your pet, determine the fewest tests necessary to diagnose the eye problems, and to determine the accuracy of the test results with regards to your pets temperament. For example, if your pet is very excited or if there is pressure on the neck veins at the time of the testing, the intraocular pressure test will read higher than usual, which can be misleading for a diagnosis unless this is taken into account by the doctor. The time spent with you and your pet helps her to provide the best personalized eye care and form a relationship with you and your pet.

NEW EXAMS- Small Animals

We have found the best method for explanation of fees over the phone or online is to present a range of fees when possible. 


This explanation is a simplification of a rather complex process. Not all tests are performed in this order. Depending upon Dr. Cooley’s findings with the slit lamp first, she will determine which exam diagnostic test to perform next or whether other exam diagnostics are necessary. She often performs tonometry testing while using the indirect ophthalmoscope light source in a darkened room since she has found that the majority of new exam patients are less fearful and have a more accurate reading if they do not see the tonometer come toward their eye.


Fees are subject to change without notice.


New Exam Fees - Small Animals

A small animal ophthalmic exam ranges from $279-$309. This range includes examination with the slit lamp, indirect ophthalmoscope, and tonometer (pressure test) in both eyes.

Base Exam

All new examinations will have slit lamp biomicroscopy and indirect ophthalmoscopy  performed to detail the eyelids along with the front (anterior segment) and back (posterior segment) of your pets eyes. These instruments have high magnification and provide the ophthalmologist with views not observable by the naked eye or with instruments used by the general veterinarian.

Base Exam with Tonometry

Tonometry is performed in 95% of new examinations. Tonometry is important to diagnose or rule out glaucoma, and can be a subtle indicator of intraocular inflammation. Tonometry testing can change day to day in a patient, and variables of patient restraint and excitement level can alter the findings.


With slit lamp findings, the doctor will assess if other exam diagnostics are required for your pets eye diagnosis. Other exam diagnostics may include Schirmer tear testing, flourescein staining, or rose bengal staining, as listed below. One or more of these tests will be required in most new exams and may add $14-$56 to the new exam fee, depending upon the number of tests performed.

Schirmer Tear test

Schirmer Tear test for assessment of tearing ability.

Fluorescein or Rose Bengal Stain
Staining tests allow for more specific corneal evaluation with slit lamp use, if a corneal abnormality suspected. 

Exam Findings

After performing the new eye examination, Dr. Cooley takes a few minutes to input the findings into your pets medical record. For 95% of patients a diagnosis is made, and she will discuss options for your pets eye care. She may recommend no therapy, medical therapy, monitoring, a minor procedure, and/or surgery. In 5% of patients, she will have a clinical suspicion of the disease process, however Additional Diagnostic Tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis. 

Providing pain relief is the most important goal. Providing vision is second to pain relief. Providing both is optimal, depending upon the conditions present in your pet. You will not be pressured to choose one option over another. When asked what she would do if your pet were hers, Dr. Cooley will give you an honest answer regarding the quality of life issues for your pet.


New Exam Fees - Large Animals

We are no longer accepting new large animal patients.

Eye Clinic for Animals accepts the following payment types:



Care Credit

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