National service dog eye exam event reaches record number of dogs examined.

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) today announced record…

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) today announced record results from the third annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event held last month. Approximately 3,200 active Service Dogs received free eye exams throughout May– more than double the 1,500 that participated last year. More than 180 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists participated throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and provided free eye exams to guide dogs, handicapped assistance dogs, detection dogs, search and rescue dogs and more.

As part of the program, a team of ACVO doctors hosted a Service Dog screening event at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) in San Antonio, Texas

Shown: Dr. Michael Paulsen, DACVO from the Animal Eye Clinic in Arlington, TX examines a Service Dog during the screening event at Lackland Air Force Base.
at the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Center. Approximately 180 Transportation Security Agency (TSA) dogs and military working dogs were screened and several significant findings were made that will assist the breeding programs going forward.

“We’ve exceeded our expectations this year and are thrilled with the number of dogs that received free eye exams,” said Stacee Daniel, Executive Director of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. “We couldn’t have made the event a success without the dedicated veterinary ophthalmologists who volunteered their time and services.”

The goals of the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event are to: benefit individuals and society who rely on Service Dogs, strengthen referral relationships between veterinary ophthalmologists and general practice veterinarians, gather data relative to work performance for future work recommendations and to preserve the sight of those animals who serve us selflessly.

Mishka is one of those animals. The two-year-old poodle is an active Search and Rescue dog in Tampa, FL. Jenny Logan, Mishka’s handler, brought her in for the complimentary eye exam this year. “It’s a wonderful thing to have offered to you,” said

Shown: Dr. E. Dan Wolf, DACVO, from Southern Eye Clinic for Animals in Tampa, Florida examines Mishka.
Logan about the event. “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. That’s phenomenal this day and age.”

The ACVO plans to hold the annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event again in May 2011. At that time eligible participants will be able to register at ACVOeyeexam.org to participate.

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