Frequently Asked Questions

Why was I referred to an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist has advanced training and equipment for complicated diseases of the eye. For these same reasons, your family doctor would refer you to an ophthalmologist if you had a serious ocular disease.

What is a veterinary ophthalmologist?

A veterinary ophthalmologist is trained an additional 3 years beyond 4 years in veterinary school. This specialized training is called a residency, which is supervised by other board-certified ophthalmologists. In addition to residency training, Dr. da Costa completed ophthalmology programs at Stanford Medical School and University of Florida Veterinary School.

How long does an appointment take?

Appointments can last 15 minutes to more than two hours. Unexpected delays can occur due to emergencies, emergent phone consultations to other veterinarians, or even slow-dilating pupils can hold up an exam. Dr. da Costa makes every effort to remain on schedule. The Eye Center for Animals sincerely apologizes in advance for any delays. We know that your time is valuable; please ask for drop-off examinations (rechecks  only) if it would be more convenient. 

What would happen if electricity was lost during surgery on my pet?

The Eye Center for Animals invested in an automatic emergency power generator that instantaneously turns on with loss of electrical power to safeguard our patients during surgery.  In addition, in the event of unlikely equipment failure, we have redundant equipment that includes pulse-oximetry/electrocardiogram monitors, anesthesia machines, operating microscopes, and cataract machines.

What should I do if there is an emergency?

First call the Eye Center for Animals locally at (504) 483-8704 or toll-free at (888) 374-3937.  If the office is closed, you will be directed to call a different number to leave a message with your name, number and a brief message.

Dr. da Costa will return your call as soon as possible. He makes every effort in returning emergency calls within 30 minutes. While out of town and on vacation he keeps copies of all medical records on a laptop computer. If you feel that you cannot wait for his return call, please go to your regular veterinarian or local emergency veterinary clinic.

Will Dr. da Costa communicate with my regular veterinarian?

Yes. Usually within 30 minutes of you leaving the Eye Center for Animals, a copy of your pet’s record is faxed to your regular veterinarian.  If direct communication is needed, he will call your veterinarian to discuss the case.  We make an effort to coordinate total veterinary care with your regular veterinarian for the best possible outcome.  That is why you may be asked to have your veterinarian do further diagnostics or treatment regarding potential systemic disease affecting not only the eyes but also the rest of the body.