Service Dogs Receive Sight Saving Eye Exams Nationwide

The 5th Annual ACVO®/Merial® National Service Dog Eye Exam Event brings together veterinary ophthalmologists and thousands of service animals for free eye exams. Registration begins April 1st for May 2012 event.

Guide dogs, handicapped assistance dogs, detection dogs and search and rescue dogs selflessly serve the public. So, for the month of May 2012, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) is launching the 5th annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event to help dogs and other service animals.

More than 200 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S., as well as Canada and Puerto Rico, are estimated to provide free sight-saving eye exams to thousands of eligible service animals. Since the program launched in 2008, more than 10,500 service animals have been examined.

Registration for service animal owners and handlers begins April 1, 2012 at www.ACVOeyeexam.org

WHAT VETERINARY OPHTHALMOLOGISTS LOOK FOR DURING THE EXAM:
During the complete ocular exam, the veterinary specialists look for problems including: redness, squinting, cloudy corneas, retinal disease, early cataracts and other serious abnormalities. Early detection and treatment are vital to these working animals. “Our hope is that by checking their vision, we will be able to help a large number of service animals better assist their human friends,” says Stacee Daniel, Executive Director of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologi sts.

HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE 2012 EVENT:
To qualify, animals must be “active working animals” that were certified by a formal training program or organization or currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization could be national, regional or local in nature. Owners/agents for the animal(s) must FIRST register the animal via an online registration form beginning April 1, 2012 at www.ACVOeyeexam.org Registration ends April 30th.

Once registered online, the owner/agent will receive a registration number and will be allowed access to a list of participating ophthalmologists in their area and may contact a specialist to schedule an appointment. Appointments will take place during the month of May. Times may vary depending on the facility and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Again, registration for service animal owners and handlers begins April 1, 2012 at www.ACVOeyeexam.org

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