We achieved fast and automatic retinal vessel segmentation by employing the active contours method in Doppler spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). In a typical OCT B-scan image, we first extracted the phase variations between adjacent A-lines and removed bulk motion. Then we set the initial contour as the boundary of the whole image and iterated until all of the segmented vessel contours became stabilized. Using a typical office computer, the whole segmentation took no more than 50 s, making real-time retinal vessel segmentation possible. We tested the active contours method segmentation in both controlled phantom and in vivo rodent eye images.