Dr Kelly Caruso

Dr Kelly Caruso

Kelly Caruso is a dedicated and pioneering Veterinary Ophthalmologist, and the proud owner and operator of the Eye Clinic for Animals Australia.

Born and raised in the USA, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 after completing a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She then completed internships in Equine Medicine and Surgery, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Ophthalmology and Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. Kelly then completed a residency under the tutelage of Professor Seth Koch – one of the founding members of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) – and was granted Membership of that body in 2007.

In 2010 Kelly relocated to Australia, bringing her expertise and passion for animal eye health to a new continent. Working alongside a talented team of ophthalmologists, including her husband Dr. Cameron Whittaker, Kelly has made significant strides in veterinary ophthalmology. Together, they have two children, and share their home with three dogs and two cats, embodying their love and commitment to animals both professionally and personally.

Kelly’s career is distinguished by her innovative contributions to the field. She has pioneered a groundbreaking technique utilising Restylane (filler) for reconstructing eyelid defects, addressing congenital conditions in cats born without eyelids. Her innovative approach has set new standards in veterinary surgery and improved the quality of life for countless animals.

In a historic achievement, Kelly, Cameron, and their resident Dr. Gladys Boo were the first in the world to perform a corneal endothelial transplant in veterinary medicine. This revolutionary procedure, known as Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK), offers new hope for treating Corneal Endothelial Degeneration (CED), a condition akin to Fuchs’ Endothelial Cell Degeneration in humans.

Recognising the anatomical differences between species, Kelly and Cameron also developed specialised instruments for canine patients. The HENSLA series represents their personal and professional dedication to advancing veterinary care.

Passionate about teaching and collaboration in medicine and surgery, Kelly believes firmly in excellence without compromise. Her commitment to education is evident in the multiple teaching awards she has received for her exceptional ability to guide interns and residents in treating eye conditions.

Kelly believes in giving back to the specialty that has shaped her career, emphasizing the importance of research. This dedication is reflected in her numerous publications that contribute to the advancement of veterinary ophthalmology.

Kelly’s life is a testament to her passion for enhancing the vision and overall well-being of animals. Her innovative spirit and relentless pursuit of excellence continue to drive her contributions to the field, making a profound impact on the lives of both her patients and her colleagues.



– Retrospective assessment of ophthalmic disease development in domestic dogs and cats when hospitalised with tick paralysis caused by Ixodes holocyclus. Australian Veterinary Journal. 2024

– Free labial mucocutaneous graft for eyelid reconstruction in four dogs. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2024

– Feline distichiasis treated with cryoepilation: A retrospective study of 15 cats (27 eyes). Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2024

– Ophthalmic findings associated with Australian tick paralysis (holocyclotoxicity) in hospitalized domestic dogs and cats. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2024

– Superficial keratectomy for the treatment of spontaneous chronic corneal epithelial defects in dogs. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2024

– An investigation into the development of qualitative tear film disorders in dogs following cryoepilation for distichiasis. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2022

– Textbook chapter: “Ophthalmology of Marsupials” and “Ophthalmology of Monotremes”. Wild and Exotic Animal Ophthalmology. 2022

– Use of subdermal hyaluronic acid injections and a free labial mucocutaneous graft for the repair of feline eyelid agenesis. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2021

– Use of a chronic soft tissue expansion device to facilitate blepharoplasty in a horse with lower-lid cicatricial ectropion with a 14-year follow-up. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2020

– Progressive visual loss and severe retinal degeneration in a captive Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos mettendorfi). Vet Record. 2020

– Surgical approach to a nasolacrimal duct atresia in a German Shepherd Puppy. Australian Veterinary Practitioner. 2020

– Microsporidial stromal keratitis in a cat. Medical Mycology Case Reports. 2020

– Retinal cone photoreceptor distribution of the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus). The Anatomical Record. 2020

– Effect of dexmedetomidine added to retrobulbar blockade with lignocaine and bupivacaine in dogs undergoing enucleation surgery. Veterinary Ophthalmology 2023

– Recurrent corneal hemangiosarcoma in a cat with subsequent extension into the orbit. Veterinary Ophthalmology 2021

– Optical coherence tomography of the retina, nerve fiber layer, and optic nerve head in dogs with glaucoma.  Veterinary Ophthalmology 2019

– Early postoperative results of Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty in six dogs with corneal endothelial dystrophy.  Veterinary Ophthalmology 2019

– Development of a vision impairment score for the assessment of functional vision in dogs: Initial evidence of validity, reliability, and responsiveness.  Veterinary Ophthalmology 2019

– A forced-choice preferential looking task for the assessment of vision in dogs: pilot study.  JSAP 2018