General Practitioners' Course


Dr. Kristina Vygantas - Palliative Surgery; Adnexal Surgery

Dr. Michele Stengard - Canine Corneal Disease; Feline Corneal Disease

Dr. Kerry Ketring - Top 10 Ophthalmic Mistakes; What Do Animals Really See

Dr. Thomas Chen - Blood in the Eye; Gorilla in the eye



Dr. Thomas Chen

Blood in the eye - how to diagnose, treat, and prognosticate and Gorilla in the eye - how to diagnose ocular disease

Dr. Chen was born in San Francisco, CA and graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in computer science. He worked as a database programmer for Boeing for about 6 months before realizing he didn't particularly enjoy being in a cubicle in front of a computer all day. After taking the requisite pre-vet classes, Dr. Chen matriculated at and graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2009. During his time there, he was inspired by his mentors to pursue ophthalmology. After graduating, he did a small animal rotating internship and ophthalmology residency at Colorado State University. He became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 2013 and worked for a year in private practice in Atlanta, GA before joining the faculty at his Alma mater where he aspires to teach and proselytize ophthalmology as well as his mentors. When not working, Dr. Chen enjoys spending time in front of a computer all day at home.


Dr. Michele Stengard

Canine corneal disease – diagnosis and treatment of common conditions

During this hour the most common conditions to affect the dog will be discussed including infected corneal ulcer, immune mediated keratitis, corneal degeneration, corneal dystrophy, and other problems. We will review diagnostic strategies, practical tips for testing, and the most current treatment methods.

Feline corneal disease – diagnosis and treatment of common conditions

In this session we will review the most common corneal diseases affecting cats including viral keratitis, corneal ulcer, eosinophilic keratitis, corneal sequestrum and other ailments. Practical tips for accurate diagnosing, choosing appropriate methods of testing, and current treatment strategies will be discussed.

Dr. Michele Stengård received her veterinary medicine degree from the University of Florida in 1996 and then went on to complete a Small Animal Rotating Medicine and Surgery Internship at VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1997. From 1997 to 2000, Dr. Stengård was a resident at the University of Georgia in the Veterinary and Comparative Ophthalmology residency program. She became board certified and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology in 2000.

From 2000 to 2002 Dr. Stengård was an associate with Animal Eye Specialists of South Florida and then traveled to the west coast of Florida joining BluePearl Veterinary Partners (formerly Florida Veterinary Specialists) practicing there until 2014. She was also a consultant for the Florida Aquarium, Florida Fish and Wildlife Department, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, and Southeastern Guide Dogs from 2002 to 2014.  Since 2014, Dr. Stengård has been teaching ophthalmic surgery and consults at the University of Zürich Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Switzerland. Dr. Stengård’s areas of interest include eyelid surgery, corneal disease, cataract surgery and exotic animal ophthalmology. She lives in Zürich with her husband and three children enjoying the splendor of the Swiss nature and outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, running, and learning German in her free time.


Dr. Kristina Vygantas

Palliative surgeries for Glaucoma—“It’s time to say when!”

If medical therapies for glaucoma fail, and if the eye is blind, palliative surgical therapies are recommended to alleviate discomfort and the continual need for medications.  The traditional surgical therapies for blind glaucomatous eyes will be reviewed, including intravitreal chemical cycloablation, enucleation, and intraocular silicone prosthesis placement.  Surgical techniques and their variations will be discussed.  Advantages and disadvantages of each approach will be reviewed.

Adnexal surgery in Companion Animals— "it’s not just plastic surgery!"

Various blepharoplastic procedures will be reviewed, including surgical therapy for eyelid agenesis, entropion, and eyelid reconstruction following tumor resection.  Advantages and disadvantages of each surgery, as well as perioperative surgical preparation and post-operative care will be discussed.  Practical insight into choosing the best technique for each condition will be detailed.


Dr. Vygantas graduated the New York College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, in 1997.  She then completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Auburn University, where she also later completed a residency in Comparative Ophthalmology.   Dr. Vygantas received her board certification in Veterinary Ophthalmology in 2001. From 2001-2002, Dr. Vygantas served as a clinical instructor at Auburn, while also working at a specialty veterinary hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.  She has also served on the ACVO’s Exam Committee and Genetics committee.  For the past 11 years, she has practiced at Northstar Vets, a multi-specialty veterinary hospital in Central New Jersey, while also consulting at various local zoos throughout New Jersey and New York. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, and their unlikely pet duo, Mr. Whiskers, a one year old rat, and Batman, a 6 year old cat.

Dr. Kerry Ketring

Top 10 Ophthalmic Mistakes

The “Top Ten” are the most critical and/or common mistakes veterinarians make in diagnosis and evaluating clinical signs and response to therapy.  These errors involve all aspects of ophthalmology from conjunctivitis, corneal disease including ulcers, glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness.  The ‘Top Ten’ will be presented, an example of the case will be illustrated, and the ‘mistakes’ in thinking will be discussed.  How many have you made?

What Do Animals Really See?

This is a question veterinarians frequently hear from clients.  Many of the worries owners have may actually be normal vision for dogs and cats.  Owners concerns regarding aging changes, color vision, night vision, visual acuity and accommodation are covered.  The most common question, about the quality of their pets vision, will be discussed including what they see compared to man and the anatomical basis for the differences.  Additionally, the superiority our pets have compared to man in the senses of hearing and detecting odors will be covered. This is especially important when the owner is faced with a pet with decrease vision or blindness.


Dr. Ketring graduated from The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1972. He completed a residency there, becoming a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 1977. That year, he opened the All Animal Eye Clinic, in Cincinnati, Ohio and neighboring states. In 2009, after selling his practice, he moved to Whitehall, Michigan where he had a limited practice until 2015. He and his wife Marsha now winter in Venice Florida. He is the co-author of several books including Atlas of Feline Ophthalmology; Atlas of Breed-Related Canine Ocular Disorders; Veterinary Ocular Pathology: A Comparative Review; and Atlas of Feline Ophthalmology 2nd Edition. He and his co-authors are currently preparing the Atlas of Breed – Related Canine Ocular Disorders 2nd edition. He also lectures extensively throughout the United States and internationally.