Editorial| Volume 53, ISSUE 2, Pix-xi, March 2023

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  • Bruce Grahn
    Emeritus Professor, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Prairie Ocular Pathology Service, Prairie Diagnostic Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B4, Canada
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      It is an honor to edit an issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice in Ophthalmology. I am humbled when I consider following the many distinguished guest editors in varied specialties of Veterinary medicine who have edited previous issues over the last five decades. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice was first published in 1971, the year that I began my preveterinary program. At that time, specialties within veterinary medicine were in their infancy, and the creation of small review books that came in several issues dedicated to varied disciplines each year was far ahead of its time. However, it quickly gained favor with veterinary clinicians. In 1979, the success of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice was obvious, and this publication split into a small animal practice issue and a large animal practice issue. In 1985, it further split along species lines, into equine, food animal, and exotic animal issues. For five decades now, many issues have lined the shelves of libraries within academia and veterinary hospitals across the world, and they continue to provide updates on the latest advancements and reviews of timely topics in the clinical diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases.
      I first became acquainted with the Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice when I was in veterinary college. However, I only seriously started to read these publications when I entered clinical practice in 1977. I enjoyed each issue, as they were always an excellent resource for clinical, diagnostic, and treatment information in a variety of disciplines in varied species of animals. Later in that decade as I prepared for the American Practitioner Board examinations in small animal practice, I reread and studied 10 years of these issues and was surprised at how much I had forgotten since graduation. This was a significant factor for me in the passing of those specialty examinations and recognizing the importance of continuing education. As I entered the specialty of ophthalmology in the following decade, I agreed to author selected articles in small animal ophthalmology in Veterinary Clinics of North America. It was then that I began to appreciate the time, and effort, it takes to author and edit these publications so that they provide cohesive, current, and timely publications. In 2021, after retiring from academia, I received a small e-mail request from Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice asking me to consider guest editing an issue on small animal ophthalmology. After a few months of ignoring their polite but persistent queries, I finally agreed to guest edit this issue. I thank the Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice for this opportunity and ask that they consider this as a token repayment for the many things I have learned from the Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice issues over the last five decades.
      What can you expect that is unique from this issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice in 2022? First, the senior authors of each of the chapters are all board-certified ophthalmologists who are currently practicing ophthalmology north of the 49th parallel in Canada. Canadian veterinarians owe much to the American-based specialty colleges. All the ophthalmologists that authored this issue were trained in America or in Canada in residencies approved by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. I was actually surprised when I contacted each of them, by their eagerness to contribute and create this Canadian-based issue. Each author selected his or her own topics. These are timely for small animal veterinary clinicians and those interested in, or already in training programs for, veterinary ophthalmology.
      Dr Marina Leis provides current insight into the ocular microbiome based on her award-winning research in this area. In her second article, she introduces the reader to the relatively scantly described small animal early-onset glaucoma. She is an expert in both these conditions, a gifted teacher and writer, and I am most thankful that she agreed to author and coauthor these articles. She is back at the University of Saskatchewan, her alma mater, and enjoying an academic career.
      Drs Maria Vanore and Marie-Odile Benoit-Biancamano, of the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal are introducing the readership to optical coherence tomography in its application to veterinary ophthalmology. This technology has been available to veterinary ophthalmologist for approximately a decade, and the data arising from this technology are rewriting our current knowledge in ophthalmology. I was fortunate to use this technology and author one of the first clinical articles in dogs with multifocal retinopathy many years ago. Therefore, I was particularly pleased that Maria chose this timely introduction to this advanced laser imaging technology that is revolutionizing our understanding of retinal and corneal diseases.
      Dr Chantel Pinard, an associate professor at the University of Guelph, provides an excellent review of ophthalmic examination diagnostics. This is particularly timely for all veterinary practitioners, including the novice to the experienced ophthalmologist. She is a thorough, excellent writer and teacher. She also coauthored with Dr Lizzie James Jenks a second valued article on therapeutics of ocular disease. I am indebted to both of them for providing such timely and practical examination and therapeutic advice to small animal clinicians.
      Drs Amber and Philip Labelle contributed the article on pigmentary keratitis, one of the most common and challenging corneal disorders to manage in the Pug and many brachiocephalic dogs. They also contributed a review of a less-common but important and commonly misdiagnosed feline ocular disease, eosinophilic keratitis. Amber owns a private ophthalmology referral practice in Ottawa, while her husband Phillip, a board-certified pathologist, works for Idexx.
      Dr Lynne Sandmeyer is a professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. She shares her experience and expertise on one of the most challenging and often blinding disorders we see in the dog, glaucoma. I had the privilege of working with her for over two decades. She is a gifted writer and teacher, and I am very proud of all her accomplishments and her article on canine glaucoma.
      Finally, I authored the article on feline glaucoma, canine episcleritis, and scleritis and the review of canine eyelid tumors and inflammation. I chose these three based on my experience over three decades as a referring ophthalmologist and a mentor of many ophthalmology graduate students. The nomenclature surrounding these areas of ophthalmology is confusing; the disorders are challenging to treat, and most of them involve significant contributions from ocular pathology, my second passion. I encourage all practicing small animal veterinarians to read this and future Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice issues as part of their continuing education. I trust that this issue will meet the expectations of the Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice staff, small animal veterinarians, and ophthalmologists who read it.