“A horse’s eyes are the window to their soul.”                                 

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute welcomes its first full-time ophthalmologist, Dr. Stephanie Bell, to open the Ophthalmology Service.  This is in response to increased demand for equine eye services, and in keeping with Hagyard’s historical commitment to providing elite care at the highest level of professional competency.  The purpose is to serve equine patients in need of advanced ophthalmology services. 

Dr. Bell is a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.  

Equine ophthalmology is Dr. Bell’s passion. Her primary goals for patients include preservation or return to vision, comfort, and ocular integrity.  Dr. Bell enjoys all aspects of equine ophthalmology, with special interests in corneal disease and immune-mediated disorders. 

Dr. Bell will provide routine ocular screening as well as specialized medical and surgical care for a variety of equine ocular disorders.  She will be available for farm calls as well as inpatient visits, hospitalization for intensive therapy, and advanced surgical procedures. 

Common ocular conditions seen in horses include corneal ulcers and other types of keratitis, corneal and eyelid neoplasia, immune-mediated ocular disease such as equine recurrent uveitis (ERU), cataracts, and glaucoma. 

Diagnostic testing includes:

Slit lamp biomicroscopy

Binocular indirect fundic/retinal examination

Tonometry (Intraocular pressure measurement)

Corneal cytology, culture and sensitivity 


Ocular ultrasound

Streak retinoscopy 

Advanced imaging/MRI 


Services and treatment include:  

Medical and surgical treatment of corneal ulcers and other disorders, including corneal grafting, transplants, and reconstructive procedures

Medical and surgical treatment of ocular neoplasia (cancer of the cornea, eyelids, and third eyelid)

Early diagnosis and treatment of Equine Recurrent Uveitis, medical and surgical (suprachoroidal cyclosporine implants) as well as novel procedures (intravitreal injections)

Early diagnosis and treatment glaucoma, medical and surgical (including laser therapy)

Emergency therapy for ocular trauma

Diagnosis and treatment of cataracts, including phacoemulsification cataract surgery with intraocular lens implants 

Diagnosis and treatment of sarcoids (Immunotherapy, surgical removal with laser photodynamic therapy) 

Blepharoplasty for eyelid disorders

Photodynamic therapy using indocyanine green and laser for treatment of immune-mediated and neoplastic ocular disorders

Have you ever wondered about your horse’s vision?  Dr. Bell can perform streak retinoscopy to determine the refractive error of your horse’s eyes (if they are near or far-sighted). 

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bell please contact the McGee Medicine Center (859) 253-0002.