We couldn’t function at VESPECON without our dedicated specialist team. These heroes are available at your fingertips to share their expertise, elevate patient care, and guide general veterinarians through complex cases. We’re always raving about our dream team, and we think it’s time for you to get to know them. We hope you get the pleasure to work with Dr. Keller Vaughan, but in the meantime, VESPECON shares more details about her life, career, and ophthalmology, her chosen specialty.

Veterinary ophthalmology: A day in the life

Two types of veterinarians exist in this world—those who love eyes, and those who hate eyes. If you’re in the latter camp, you may “turn a blind eye” and not know what goes on in an ophthalmology practice. Here are a few things an ophthalmologist might do in any given day:

  • Examine pets — Dogs and cats are the most frequent visitors to the veterinary ophthalmologist.
  • Examine horses — Horses frequently develop eye diseases that require ophthalmology expertise.
  • Examine exotics — All animals have eyes, and veterinary ophthalmologists learn to treat innumerable species, including pocket pets, rabbits, birds, reptiles, fish, wildlife, raptors, aquatic mammals, zoo animals, and more!
  • Perform surgery — Surgery is a big part of an ophthalmologist’s day. Common procedures include phacoemulsification, enucleation, entropion, distichia and cherry eye corrections, lid mass removals, corneal grafts, and vision-sparing glaucoma procedures.
  • Consult with other specialists — Ophthalmologists frequently see ocular manifestations of dermatological, neurological, or other systemic health issues that require collaboration with other specialists.

What can a veterinary ophthalmologist treat?

You likely would be surprised about the many problems ophthalmologists see in their patients’ eyes. One of the cool things about ophthalmology is that most conditions can be diagnosed in a single visit with basic examination techniques and diagnostics, so clients get answers quickly. Some of the most common conditions diagnosed and treated by veterinary ophthalmologists include:

  • Cataracts
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Corneal disease (e.g., pannus, keratitis, endothelial dystrophy)
  • Autoimmune disorders (e.g., steroid-responsive retinal disease, uveodermatologic syndrome)
  • Uveitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachments or degeneration

Dr. Keller Vaughan Q & A

We asked a few questions to get to know Dr. Keller Vaughan better. Here are a few insights into what makes her unique:

Question: Where did you complete your veterinary education?
Answer: Colorado State University

Q: Where are you from, and where do you currently live?
A: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on both accounts.

Q: Why did you choose to pursue a veterinary specialty?
A: I wanted to be able to offer higher level specialty care to my patients.

Q: What do you enjoy most about ophthalmology?
A: I enjoy veterinary ophthalmology because it combines medicine and surgery, and allows for long-term client and patient relationships, in some cases.

Q: What has been your most fulfilling or interesting ophthalmology case?
A: Cataract surgery can be such a game changer for blind patients. It’s amazing to hear how happy clients are with the improvement in their pet’s quality of life.

Q: How did you come to work for VESPECON?
A: I am a long-time colleague of Dr. Pierce, our founder. 

Q: How does working through VESPECON benefit general practitioners?
A: I hope that VESPECON offers veterinarians the ability to provide access to specialty care and consultations in areas where travel is not an option, or when clients are interested in gathering information before making a decision.

Q: Can you share a VESPECON success story?
A: It’s been great offering alternatives for veterinarians to provide treatment for their own patients, in their own clinic, when they didn’t know that was an option.

Q: Tell us about your family.
A: My husband, Ted, is a general practice veterinarian. My son is 11 years old and loves video games, cars, and pizza. I believe my dog, Chloe, is an actual Muppet come to life, and my cat, Chibi, is a sassy tortie.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: Read, travel, and spend time with friends.

Q: What is the most interesting place you’ve traveled?
A: Japan was amazing, and I recommend that everyone go!

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Rachel Keller Vaughan, veterinary ophthalmologist extraordinaire! In future posts, we’ll profile more of our amazing specialist team and explain why they are special. 

VESPECON offers virtual consultations across multiple disciplines, so you can manage any case that comes your way. Visit our website to meet the rest of the team, learn more about our specialty services, or sign up to get started.