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Personal Note from Val: Having had 6 eye surgeries in recent years, I know intimately how important our vision really is. It is especially important for service animals, whether they are dogs, cats, donkeys or horses. If they can’t see, then they can’t perform their job! However, it can sometimes be hard to know for sure if your animal is suffering from poor vision or losing their vision. Listen now so you’ll know what signs to look for. And if you have a service animal, or know someone who does, be SURE they know about this critically important annual event so they can participate. If they apply during the month of April, they can receive FREE Eye Exams for their animals during the month of May from participating veterinarian ophthalmologists in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Guide dogs, detection dogs, search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs and dogs assisting people with disabilities selflessly serve the public. To honor these animals and their work, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) is launching the 6th Annual ACVO®/Merial® National Service Dog Eye Exam Event to provide free, sight-saving eye exams to service animals during the month of May. More than 250 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S., as well as Canada and Puerto Rico, are donating their time and resources to screen thousands of eligible service animals. Service animal applicants must register during April for the event, which has provided free exams to more than 16,000 services animals since its launch in 2008.
For instance, Ben is a black American Field Labrador who can climb a three story ladder, unassisted. Ben’s eyesight is vital to his job. He is a search and rescue dog from Ventura, CA that can be called upon at any time to rescue someone who is alive, during a disaster. Ben’s handler, Eric Darling, has brought Ben to participate in the ACVO®/Merial® National Service Dog Eye Exam Event for two years in a row. Eric and Dr. Nancy Bromberg, a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist, are here to talk about this exciting and important event.
These questions among others were asked and we learned a lot and so will you:
- How did you get involved in the ACVO/Merial Annual Service Dog Eye Exam Event?
- How many service animals have been helped to date?
- Who participates in the event?
- Why are eye exams so important?
- What types of issues, problems or diseases are typically detected during the exams?
To find out more information and how to register for the event go to www.ACVOeyeexam.org
You can find out more about Eric Darling, Search & Rescue service dog handler, by clicking here