Service Dogs to Get Free Eye Exams

More than 180 veterinary ophthalmologists will provide the medical service.

Posted: March 3, 2011, 3 a.m. EST

A guide dog undergoes an eye exam. Registration for the free exams begins onlinle April 1.
Guide dogs, handicap-assistance dogs, detection dogs and search-and-rescue dogs selflessly serve the public. And now for the fourth year in a row, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists wants to help return the favor by offering these dogs free eye exams during the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event throughout May.

“Our hope is that by checking their vision, we will be able to help a large number of dogs better assist their human friends,” says Stacee Daniel, executive director of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

More than 180 board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico will provide free sight-saving eye exams to thousands of service dogs. Veterinary specialists will look for problems including redness, squinting, cloudy corneas, retinal disease, early cataracts and other serious abnormalities. Early detection and treatment are vital to treating these working dogs, Daniel says.

Jenny Logan’s 3-year-old poodle, Mishka, an active search-and-rescue dog in Tampa, Fla., has participated in the event for the last two years.

“It’s a wonderful thing to have offered to you,” Logan says. “It’s preventative medicine and if anything is wrong and you can catch a condition early, you can treat it. And there’s no charge for the free exam. That’s phenomenal in this day and age.”

Other groups served since the launch of the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event include the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and military working dogs from Lackland Air Force Base in Texas; Puppies Behind Bars, an organization providing psychiatric service dogs to soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan; local fire, rescue and police agencies; and individual service- dog owners and handlers like Logan.

Registration for the free exams begins April 1.


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momo   anaheim, CA

3/3/2011 11:11:02 PM


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Galadriel   Lothlorien, ME

3/3/2011 11:03:42 PM

That's wonderful.

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Stephanie   North Canton, OH

3/3/2011 7:49:47 PM


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Ashley   Cosby, TN

3/3/2011 7:47:20 AM

Great news!

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