Making a Positive Difference


  Diagnostic Imaging
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  Career at Circle City



Dr. Rachel Mathes, originally from Columbus, Indiana, received her undergraduate degree after attending college at 16 years of age from Franklin College in 2001. Four years later, she graduated from the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. While at Purdue, Dr. Mathes had the privilege of assisting on a patient cataract surgery, an event that would inevitably change her life. When the patient, a blind Labrador, woke up from surgery with complete vision, it was then that Dr. Mathes knew she wanted to dedicate her life to vision for animals. Three years later, after general private practice in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Mathes obtained her ophthalmology residency at the University of Georgia in 2008. During her four-year residency, Dr. Mathes obtained a Master's degree in Veterinary and Biomedical Science, researching primary corneal cell culture. In 2012, Dr. Mathes completed her residency and became a board-certified ophthalmologist.

During her education, Dr. Mathes received respected awards including the Naomi Houghman Award for Excellence in Biology, Chemistry Freshman of the Year, ALPHA Scholarship Honor Society Award, Dean's list in undergraduate and graduate studies and First Place Resident Presentation at the University of Georgia Scientific Research Event. In addition, Dr. Mathes has had opportunities to speak nationally and internationally and has over fifteen publications in the field of Veterinary Ophthalmology.

Dr. Mathes is thrilled to be back in her home Hoosier State doing what she loves, providing vision to our four legged friends. Dr. Mathes brings the education and experience, but more importantly, the heart to veterinary ophthalmology. She is committed to helping your pet enjoy a happy and visual life.

Cataract Surgery

Cataracts can be a devastating diagnosis for your pet, causing your once happy and confident friend to be hesitant at home or even run into objects. Cataracts can decrease your pet's quality of life and make him or her unwilling or unable to go on walks, play with toys or fetch with you. Cataract surgery is one of the many surgical procedures we offer here at Circle City Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Hospital. With hundreds of surgeries under her belt and a very high success rate, Dr. Mathes, our board-certified ophthalmologist, offers the best and latest cataract surgical techniques including small incisional surgery, foldable artificial intraocular lens implantation and Whitestar© technology. Dr. Mathes is a passionate, talented surgeon dedicated to helping your pet regain vision. If your pet has decreased vision or has been diagnosed with cataracts, we encourage you to make an appointment with Dr. Mathes for further consultation.

Pre-operative photograph of a patient with a complete cataract. This patient was blind from her cataracts.

Post-operative photograph of a patient after cataract surgery. The patient has a new, artificial lens and is visual.

This is a photograph of a small, foldable intraocular lens. These are implanted into the eye after removal of the cataract through a micro-incision in the eye. These lenses eliminate the need for large corneal incisions.

Eyelid Correction

Have you ever gotten a hair in your eye? If you have, you can relate to the discomfort associated with abnormal hairs or eyelid rolling that some pets experience. Board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists not only help restore patient vision, but also help decrease pain and discomfort associated with eyelid abnormalities. Blepharoplasty, or "plastic surgery" of the eyelids, is one of Dr. Mathes' special areas of interest. In fact, she has presented nationally on the topic. If your pet is squinting, experiencing discharge from either eye or has redness of the eyes, a full ophthalmic or eye examination will help determine the cause. Dr. Mathes will give you all the treatment options to give your pet the best life, pain free.

Photograph before surgery of a patient with eyelid rolling and abnormal hairs contacting his eye. 

Immediately post-operative photograph of the same patient after eyelid correction. Notice how much more open and comfortable the eye is.

Glaucoma Treatment

Like many eye diseases, glaucoma is not only a potentially vision-threatening disease, but also a very painful disease. Humans with glaucoma describe the pain as an intense migraine headache-like pain. This means that your pet may not show signs of "eye pain" with squinting or pawing at the eye, but may become sleepier or be less active. Often, in fact, you do not realize that your pet was even uncomfortable until the glaucoma is treated. The only way to truly know if your pet is suffering from glaucoma is to have an eye pressure test. Dr. Mathes has all the tools to determine if your pet has glaucoma. She is also able to offer the latest treatment options, many times, even, offering same day treatment to decrease the pain and restore vision.

This photograph demonstrates a type of laser glaucoma surgery done non-invasively without incisions. There are many medical and surgical options available for glaucoma. Dr. Mathes will discuss the best therapeutic options for your pet if he or she has been diagnosed with glaucoma.

Corneal Transplantation

Corneal transplantation surgery has vastly advanced in the last several years. Adopting principles from human medicine, veterinary ophthalmic medicine has moved toward biosynthetic corneal transplantation. This has improved surgical and visual outcomes for patients. Even if an eye is completely ruptured, a diagnosis that would previously result in removal of the eye, corneal transplantation surgery performed by a board-certified ophthalmologist can restore vision and full function of the eye. Dr. Mathes is trained in the latest corneal surgical techniques and offers numerous surgical and medical corneal therapies to restore full corneal function. She has also invented and published a novel large-scale corneal transplantation technique to restore vision and eye function in patients with ocular tumors.

This photograph demonstrates a large, deep corneal ulcer. This has almost completely perforated; only a small, thin membrane is between the inside and outside of the eye. This is a surgical emergency.

This photograph demonstrates the patient immediately after ulcer repair with a corneal transplantation. While the transplant material is temporarily tan to white after surgery, this will clear over the next several weeks. The patient will be visual through this area once the surgery site heals and the transplant clears.

This photograph demonstrates a patient that underwent corneal repair for corneal perforation. Notice how there is a small scar present; however, this is not interfering with vision. 

This photograph demonstrates a patient after a large corneal transplantation to repair a large corneal full-thickness perforation. There is mild corneal haze present (scar tissue); however, the patient is comfortable and visual. 

Dry Eye Disease Therapy

Dry eye disease can be an irritating and painful condition. Did you know that the human pharmaceutical product Restasis© was developed as a direct result of the discovery for treatment of dry eye disease in veterinary medicine? The treatment for this disease was discovered at the University of Georgia where Dr. Mathes did her residency. There are many therapeutic options for this disease. If your pet suffers from redness, discharge, lackluster eyes or squinting, he or she may have dry eye disease. We recommend a consultation with Dr. Mathes for full evaluation and treatment options.

This photograph is of a patient with severe dry eye disease. Dry eye disease may range in severity from mild, causing “morning sleepy eye goobers” and intermittent redness, to severe, causing crusting around the eyes and mucus discharge from the eyes.

This photograph is of a patient with mild to moderate dry eye disease. Notice how the eye is still red and “lackluster” with discharge at the corner.

This photograph is of a patient after medical treatment of dry eye disease. Notice how shiny and healthy the eye looks now. 

This photograph is of a patient after surgical treatment of dry eye disease. Most patients with dry eye disease respond to medications very well. However, if medications fail, there are other options to preserve your pet’s vision and keep him or her comfortable.

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