Royal Veterinary College Ophthalmology

Royal Veterinary College, the

Royal Veterinary College Ophthalmology

Royal Veterinary College Ophthalmology

Our veterinary Ophthalmology Service was established in 2012 and has grown rapidly ever since. The service is formed of three board-certified ophthalmology specialists Drs Marian Matas Riera Roser Tetas Pont and Charlotte Dawson.

The team is completed by qualified veterinarians who are veterinary specialists-in-training, Richard Everson and Sarah Koll.

The team treats dog, cat and other small animal eye conditions at the QMHA. The team also offers ophthalmology service to the Equine Referral Hospital of the College.

Service information

We carry out ophthalmic evaluation, intraocular and extra-ocular surgery on dogs, cats and exotic animals with any eye problems. Cataract surgery is one of the most common intraocular surgeries performed by the service, this procedure include small incision cataract surgery with cold star technology, foldable acrylic intraocular lens replacement and capsular tension ring placement. Other ophthalmic surgeries performed routinely are lens luxation surgery, corneal reconstruction surgery – including novel surgical procedures such as amnion and corneal grafting procedures as well as the classical conjunctival pedicle grafting and corneo-limbo-conjunctival transposition.


We offer eyelid and third eyelid corrective and reconstructive surgery. In addition, we offer 30-hour intraocular pressure curves for patients with glaucoma.


The ophthalmology team also provides with a broad array of laser treatments, from transpupillary retinopexy for partial retinal detachments, anterior chamber microscope adapted diode laser for iridal pigmented lesions and uveal cysts as well as melanocytic masses. We also offer transcleral diode laser delivery, current gold standard treatment for glaucoma in horses. We also offer endolaser cyclophotocoagulation for glaucoma surgery and retinopexy.


The ophthalmology team has also established a corneal donor program, where local owners can donate their pet’s eyes to save vision for others.


Comprehensive ophthalmic examinations

All referred patients receive a thorough ophthalmic examination, which includes slit lamp biomicroscopy, funduscopy, tonometry, tear measurement and corneal staining. We also offer gonioscopy, gross and fundus photography and electroretinography if required.

We are the only UK vet school with board-certified specialists in veterinary ophthalmology

Dogs cats and rabbits referred to our ophthalmology service with eye problems receive complete ophthalmic examinations with the latest equipment

Our clinical training residency in veterinary ophthalmology is a three year program satisfying the training requirements needed to attain specialist certification in the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ECVO) as well as an introduction to clinical research in veterinary ophthalmology.

The programme is well supervised and structured to provide comprehensive training in all aspects of medical and surgical ophthalmology. The programme has a strong emphasis on clinical ophthalmology and it is supported by four Diplomats of the ECVO, one residency trained staff clinician and two clinical training residents, a clinical training Intern on a visiting rotating basis through the service, and a team of dedicated nurses. You will spend the majority of your time conducting clinical duties in the QMHA as part of the clinical Ophthalmology Service, managing hospitalized patients and participating in an out-of-hours on-call rota for ophthalmic emergencies under the supervision of a board-certified specialist. Clinical work will focus on our small animal caseload at the QMHA. The service does also consult on ophthalmic cases in the Equine Referral Hospital and for the Farm Animal Service upon request. You will be expected to gradually increase your primary case responsibility for a varied caseload over the course of the programme and to gradually increase your surgical proficiency. You will need to follow instruction on regularly scheduled surgical labs in non-live tissue throughout the period of the residency.

You will also need to achieve the ECVO requirements of publications (currently two publications in peer-review journals) and oral or poster presentations in international ophthalmology congresses. In addition, you will be closely involved in teaching BVetMed students, interns and other specialties residents during clinical rotations.

The Ophthalmology staff work closely with other clinical staff in the QMHA, including specialists in internal medicine, emergency and critical care, anaesthesia and othersproviding an intradisciplinary approach to the patient’s management. You will be expected to rotate through other clinical services as part of your training programme, including anaesthesia, imaging and pathology.

At some point of the programme you will attend the Biannual Magrane Basic Science Course in Comparative Veterinary Ophthalmology, which is held in the USA.

There will be some tuition expense support. Holiday allocation is 4 weeks per year. Facilities include dedicated ophthalmology theatre and two consulting rooms with all equipment necessary to perform a thorough ophthalmic exam. Excellence in teaching and clinical research is highly emphasized, with structured time off clinics allowed for study, the completion of research projects and presentation in international veterinary ophthalmology congresses as mandated by the ECVO.

Selection criteria for the Residency in Ophthalmology

Along with the Attributes and Qualifications required it is also desirable if you have:

  • Basic ophthalmic examination and surgical skills
  • A postgraduate qualification in ophthalmology (e.g. RCVS CertVOphthal), having completed an ophthalmology internship or spent time with a board certified ophthalmologist during a rotating internship
  • Interest in joining at least one existing research project in veterinary ophthalmology as well as in developing one or more projects during the duration of the residency program with the aim to progress research in the specialty and publish in a peer reviewed international veterinary journal

Further information

If you have any queries about the Ophthalmology Residencies please contact  Dr Marian Matas Riera at or Dr Charlotte Dawson at

For general information about the Residency programme see: Residencies.

How to apply

Applications for residencies at the RVC need to be submitted via UKPASS. For details see How To Apply.

For referring vets:

Referrals line:
+44 (0)1707 666365

Emergency referrals:
+44 (0) 1707 666399